As technology is capable of rendering three-dimensional realities believable, this is no small feat for an artist with a pen and paper in hand. Yet a man from Egypt does just that.
Born and raised in Alexandria, Mustafa Mohamed Samir Ragheb has loved drawing since childhood. Today he works in the field of interior architecture and decoration, but the incredible 3D drawings he paints in his spare time has attracted a worldwide fan base.
“I always draw on anything or anything,” Ragheb, 36, told The Epoch Times. “I’m still holding a pen in my hand, and that’s what happened when I started to think: right away my hand started drawing.”
Already in love with realism, Regheb’s passion increased when he discovered 3-dimensional drawing. It feels good, he says, to live a real image “breathe in front of you”.
Ragheb shares his work on Facebook and instagram. Assembly of 80 drawings in a position– including non-crop renderings of a water bottle, glass marble, kettle and sunglasses – the artist amassed hundreds of supportive comments and compliments from viewers who could hardly believe their eyes.
As for what Ragheb chooses to draw, he says he will put pen to paper for whatever excites him artistically in terms of dimension, light and shadow, or reflections. He particularly likes the moon and a rendering of Earth’s natural satellite, which he says took him 33 days to complete.
Over time and his passion intensified, Ragheb developed new ways to increase the 3D quality of his work.
“I found many techniques,” he told The Epoch Times, “including folding the paper to one side and drawing on each part individually. When we place the paper in a certain way and at a certain angle, we see a real hologram.
He doesn’t stick to just one painting either. Sometimes he uses acrylic paint to add color; while at other times he uses watercolor or gouache.
Additionally, Ragheb experiments with different pens and pastels, saying the diversity of his mediums is what sets his work apart from others and helps people recognize his work at first sight.
Some of Ragheb’s paintings are symbolic or illustrate strong feelings. Such The paintingof a horse whose tail seems to stick out of the frame, conveys a powerful message, says the artist.
“The story of the painting is an abbreviation of the concepts of pride, dignity and sincerity,” he explained. “In it, the horse left one place for another after being the victim of an injustice. He too, despite his pride, left his tail out of the frame and still looks back; he could not leave, but he is also true to himself, leaving his friends who have wronged him.
The artist admitted he was initially annoyed when some netizens claimed his work was too real and couldn’t be drawn by hand. But he eventually realized that their disbelief was a sign of his success as a 3D artist.
Ragheb is famous in Egypt for his unique talent. He has been featured in the national press and in television interviews. He is happy that modern technology allows him and others to share art with the world at the click of a button.
As for what the future holds for him, he hopes to have exposures internationally.
“Most of my fans are from all over the world,” he said, adding, “I would like to thank everyone who encourages the arts and supports art in general, because that is the truest thing you can express.”