colored pencil top

Hey that’s a nice photograph of a peaceful oasis in Tokyo. Wait, it’s not a photograph? It’s a drawing? Made with colored pencils?!

Ryota Hayashi has been bringing the Nakano Ward of Tokyo to life for the past several years through his breathtakingly realistic colored pencil renditions. He’s recently been getting a lot of attention on social media, and it’s not at all hard to see why.

Ryota is a graduate of Waseda University’s Art History Department, and he worked as a graphic designer until he took up colored pencils in 2009. He looks for inspiration all around where he lives in Nakano, such as “the water shining beautifully on the water” or “the colors on a hill that look like a natural gradient.” It takes him about 20 minutes to fill up a B3 (13.9in x 19.7in) size piece of paper, and he holds colored pencil classes all over Nakano.

Unsurprisingly, when Ryota started sharing his work on the Nakano Facebook page, he immediately started racking up the likes and shares, bringing in lots of followers of his own. Here’s a taste of what they saw:

▼ Well, I hope I’ll never need my jaw again, because it’s currently on the floor.

▼ I don’t think that purifying water could be any purer.

▼ Can you hear that banner flapping in the breeze?

▼ …are you sure these aren’t photographs?

▼ I can’t help but hear the cicadas every time I look at this.

▼ Hm, that snow is melting in an interesting pattern.

▼ Wow, those windows must’ve been a real pane to draw.
…I’ll see myself out.

Ryota was featured in the American art magazine “COLORED PENCIL Magazine” in 2014, and last month had an exhibit in Nakano featuring his work. Ryota commented: “I’ve gotten a lot more students in my colored pencil classes thanks to social media. I hope that my artwork inspires even more of them to take up the art. I want them to experience the delicacy and warmth that colored pencils provide over oil or watercolor.”

If you’d like to see more of Ryota’s work, then check out his Facebook or Twitter pages. And if you ever find yourself in the Nakano area with a box of colored pencils and you’re itching to draw, don’t be afraid to stop by one of his classes.

Source: Hayashi Design via Nakano Keizai Shinbun
Images: Facebook: Ryota Hayashi