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Stunning photo-realistic picture of Morgan Freeman is actually iPad painting

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Story highlights

  • Digital artist Kyle Lambert creates photo-realistic paintings on iPad
  • Picture of Morgan Freeman took 200 hours and 285,000 brush strokes
  • The painting received 1 million views in its first 12 hours online

Watching digital artist Kyle Lambert's stunning photo-realistic iPad paintings emerge from a blank screen is an awe-inspiring experience. The image of Morgan Freeman in the video above, created from a picture by Scott Gries, is so rich in detail that it is difficult to believe that you aren't looking at a photograph. Difficult until you see the brush strokes build from a blank canvas and turn into the Oscar-nominated actor before your very eyes.

Lambert is a UK-based visual artist who specializes in creating visually striking paintings and illustrations for film, television, advertising and print. Lambert says that his work combines his "passion for art, technology and storytelling."

The British artist originally trained as an oil painter, but today has an extensive list of clients including Apple, Adobe, BBC Television, GQ Magazine, and Paramount Studios.

Read: Welcome to the world of electric paint

According to Lambert there isn't much difference between working on a tablet and conventional painting, except that after you are done you can watch the creative process back:

"The advantage to using Procreate on the iPad is that you can create really high resolution artwork and the process of creating it can then be automatically exported as a video," Lambert says.

    "The user interface is nice and simple which means you can quickly select brushes and colours without interrupting your thought process. The only disadvantage about working on a touch screen is that you have choose between using your fingers or a whole host of stylus choices. Personally I have become used to painting in on the iPad with my finger. This helps the interchange between pinching to zoom and navigate the painting and then tapping to paint."

    Most of Lambert's work is done on an Apple Mac Pro but when he is away from his desktop, Lambert uses his sketchbook, Digital SLR camera, iPhone and iPad. According to the artist, the image of Morgan Freeman above required 285,000 brush strokes and more than 200 hours to complete.

    Read: The future of 3D printing

    Lambert painted the work over a few weeks in November before posting the video this week. It received a million views in its first 12 hours online and currently stands at 8 million views.

    In 2011, Lambert was 'Featured Artist' at the Macworld Expo, where he delivered a talk about digital artwork and gave live demonstrations. He also offers art tutorials on his website, so if you are a budding artist with a passion for digital painting, you could do worse than to check out his webpage: kylelambert.co.uk

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