These artworks combine ink drawings with still life photography in a way that creates a very cool optical illusion. This Pens and Pebbles series is by Micke Nikander, a graphic designer from Finland.
Black Pond, the first in the series, shows a small pool of water where several fish like goldfish or koi are swimming. Skull Temple shows a building from above, surrounded by interesting pillars, which is in the shape of a skull. Escape from the Underworld shows a ladder descending into a dark abyss.
Each of the three works is a black ink drawing on paper that has been placed on the ground and surrounded with small stones. The drawn portions have a slighly exaggerated sense of perspective, which adds lots of depth to the final images. Other objects in the environment, like a cigarette butt or a person’s feet, add more character to the scenes. Each work is shown from sevearal angles. This helps show how the images are made, but I like the photos taken from directly above and without other possibly distracting elements the best, since the depth and scale illusions are the most successful in them.
These initial pictures were made on a trip to the beach in Greece, but the artist says he intends to add to the series once he’s home.
Nikander explains the combination of interests that allowed him to come up with this creative concept in his blog’s description: “I like creating pictures from scratch as much as documenting the wonders of the world through a lens. No, actually I like drawing more…”