Artist creates hyper-realistic paintings of famous landmarks reflected in the lenses of tourists’ sunglasses
- Artist Simon Hennessy creates incredible artworks in painstaking detail
- He charges up to £22,000 for each painting and can take up to seven months per piece
- They often feature landmarks – from Skegness to New York – reflected in model’s sunglassses
An artist has created a set of hyper-realistic paintings of famous landmarks around the world which appear to be reflected in the lenses of a pair of sunglasses.
The pictures by Simon Hennessey are so lifelike they have often been mistaken for photography.
Over the last five years he has painted the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, Tower Bridge, the Guggeneheim museum in New York, the New York City skyline, the seaside at Skegness and Hyde Park.
Detail: Unbelievably, these images are not photographs but astonishingly detailed paintings by talented artist Simon Hennessey
Dark mirror: Simon, 40, from Birmingham, said: ‘Using the reflection of the sunglasses permitted me to explore the spatial and environmental surroundings in a distorted and warped miniature fashion’
To create the lifelike compositions, he takes pictures of the locations and a model wearing sunglasses, before he gets to work on a canvas with an airbrush and acrylic paint.
His pieces range in size from 11 by 8 inches to 5ft by 6.5 ft and can take from two weeks to seven months to complete.
They range in price from £3,000 to £22,000.
Simon, 40, from Birmingham, said: ‘In 2008 I made a painting where a model was wearing sunglasses.
‘I realised then that using the reflection of the sunglasses permitted me to explore the spatial and environmental surroundings in a distorted and warped miniature fashion.
‘All my paintings are based and sourced using the camera, which I use the only to assist me with gathering information.
Painstaking: His masterpieces take from two weeks to seven months to complete and sell for up to £22,000
Prepared: The artist says inspiration can strike at any time and he is always equipped with his camera and a selection of sunglasses
Windows to the soul: In this entrancing image, Tower Bridge is captured on a cloudy day ‘My method involves using multiple source photographs and then throughout the painting process I add or remove detail, alter depth, add textures, form and colour values.
‘This allows me to and create an illusion of a reality not seen in any single photographic source, and my paintings therefore appear clearer and more distinct than a photograph.
‘Most of my paintings are planned before I visit any locations with the camera, especially the iconic buildings which are instantly recognisable. These include Big Ben, Tower Bridge, the Guggenheim museum or the New York city skyline paintings.
‘Inspiration for some paintings can evolve from some unlikely moments. I’m always equipped with my camera and a selection of sunglasses.
‘I get mostly positive reactions to my artwork, but there are always some negative responses to contend with.
‘The most common being "it looks like a photograph so why bother painting it when a camera can take the picture in less than a second?".’
Simon’s pictures feature the Guggenheim museum in New York, as well as the city’s skyline, the seaside in Skegness and London’s Westminster and Hyde Park
Mind-blowing: Mr Hennessy says most people admire his work, but some question why he does it when a camera can achieve quicker results
More real than real: To create the lifelike compositions, he takes pictures of the locations and a model wearing sunglasses, before taking to a canvas with an airbrush and acrylic paint