Pyrite
Sphalerite
Spessartine
Smoky Quartz
Flourite
Amethyst

Co.Design

These Absurdly Realistic Images Of Gems Are Actually Paintings

Holy stalactite!

Carly Waito is a young Toronto artist who paints pictures of semi-precious gems and minerals that are so frighteningly realistic, they’re virtually indistinguishable from a photograph. Every last facet and minute imperfection is captured in astonishing detail. The kicker: The paintings are tiny, some just 4.5 inches wide.

“I start by collecting the mineral specimens, usually from dealers online or at shows for mineral collectors, or from eBay,” Waito tells Co.Design. “Then I photograph the specimens using my DSLR with a macro lens and a complicated setup of lights and mirrors to get the reflections on the facets just right. I take many subtly different photos of each specimen before choosing one to print to use as my reference to paint from.”

Each piece is executed on masonite board with oil paint and small (very small) brushes. Waito’s first solo show, at Narwhal Art Projects in Toronto, stays open until October 2. To buy a painting, contact the gallery at contact@narwhalartprojects.com.

[Images courtesy of Carly Waito]

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