OFTEN in art, a closer look yields something more than initially meets the eye.

These amazing oil paintings by Ukrainian artist Oleg Shuplyak show remarkable double images hiding behind dramatic scenes and tranquil landscapes.

Through carefully placed objects, characters, colouring and shadows, a second image is cleverly concealed within the first.

Born on September 23, 1967, in the Ternopol region of the Ukraine, Mr Shuplyak studied architecture at the Lviv Polytechnic Institute. His passion was always painting, however, and he has used the technical precision of an architect to create these intriguing optical illusions.

Often his pictures depict famous historical figures like Charles Darwin, Vincent van Gogh and William Shakespeare. The works are similar to those of the famous Mexican artist Octavio Ocampo, who is well known for evocative paintings in which detailed scenes weave together to create larger images.

Ocampo has dubbed this the metamorphic style, and in his works the second image can sometimes be so subtle it is hard to discern without squinting. Shuplyak, by contrast, makes the second image so easily recognisable that observers can miss the original.                                 –DM