Middlesex University art graduate from Tottenham making waves with life-like pencil portraits

Double take: Life-like pencil portraits propel art graduate into limelight

This drawing of the late singer Amy Winehouse could easily have been snapped in a photographer's studio

Kelvin Okafor graduated from Middlesex University with a fine art degree

This portrait of rapper Tinie Tempah is one of a number of incredibly life-like images created by the 27-year-old

Mother Teresa is brought to life with this pencil drawing by the art graduate

First published in News
Last updated
Times Series: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

These detailed images of world-renowned faces could easily be the work of a top photographer.

But despite their life-like appearance, the portraits are in fact the intricate pencil drawings of a Middlesex University fine art graduate.

Kelvin Okafor’s work, including pictures of singer Amy Winehouse, Mother Teresa and Beyonce, has received a lot of media attention during the past week.

He has already had more than 50 commissions for his work and some will be on display at the Science Museum in Central London as part of the Watercolour Fair this weekend.

The 27-year-old, who lives in Tottenham, said: “I’ve always been creative, but fell in love with using pencils in particular. It was only when my images started to create a buzz with other Middlesex University students that I realised their impact.

“The attention I’m receiving is surreal and hasn’t really sunk in yet.

“I’m usually sheltered from it in my studio as I continue to build my portfolio, but I’m really humbled and honoured that so many people appreciate my work. I hope to have my own gallery in the future.”

Mr Okafor, who studied at the Hendon university campus, does all his work in pencil, spending between 80 and 100 hours on each drawing from his studio in Tottenham.

His work can go from £5,000 up to £10,000 depending on the size of the piece and he has already won prizes at a number of prestigious exhibitions.

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