DM

London

At first glance, these portraits appear to be the work of a skilled photographer.

And even upon a closer look, the extraordinarily detailed images seem too life-like to be anything but a high-definition picture.

But the hyper-realistic works are in fact paintings, created in a London studio by a budding 23-year-old artist.

Michael Sydney Moore describes his work as 'centred around high-realism' in portraiture.

Working from his London studio, he takes between eight and 12 weeks to complete an oil portrait after photographing the subject.

 'I use oils primarily because of the way it interacts with light. This serves to give a greater sense of depth.

'I like the solitary nature of painting. In a world saturated with technological stimulus it can be very redemptive to sit alone in silence painting for long stretches of time,' he said.

'The intricate nature of painting realism affords a kind of meditative state which can be deeply nourishing when going well; the flip side of this of course is the low that comes from long periods of what you might call artistic block.'

The process begins with the artist visiting a client at home or inviting them to his studio for photographs. He takes more than 100 until he is satisfied.

'This stage usually takes around two hours. More than a hundred photos are taken until a set of three are chosen that I like.

'This informs a series of tonal drawings that allow me to better judge which would best suit a painting. The painting process itself takes around 6 - 9 weeks.

'Towards the end of the portrait a further sitting of an hour will be performed to further compare my values against those of the painting. Once the painting is complete it will be unveiled to the client.

'This can either involve a private unveiling at my studio or the painting being sent to your address.

'From inception to completion a portrait normally takes around 8-12 weeks to complete.'

Untitled 13 will be on display at Mall Galleries in London from September 25, while Untitled has been sold to a private collector for an unknown sum.

The artist then works from tonal drawings to complete the portrait with oil paints. Untitled 13 will be on display at the Mall Galleries in London from September 25

After photographing his subject, the artist takes more than 100 images back to his studio to begin work using a variety of brush-strokes and hues

Portraits by the artist start at £3,400 for 130cm x 90cm with larger canvasses (160cm x 110cm) costing £5,000, and are restricted to human subject matters.

Describing his technique, Sydney Moore says:'I do not believe there is any dichotomy present in the idea that an almost perfect rendition of the human form can also be intensely expressive.

'Expression in painting - for me at least - comes from the deeply individual and selective nature the artist's voice carries.

'Where I choose to apply paint thickly or turn form using a particular hue, are as intrinsic to the expressive nature of painting as the selection of a particular word is to a poet.

'To extend the metaphor; as in poetry, it is not the correct selection of words, as much as it is their ability to co-exist harmoniously with both a semblance of reality and the artist's sentiments on the world - or in my case - the sitter present.'