When it comes to puzzles and optical illusions, netizens are instantly hooked trying to unravel its mystery. However, it wasn’t an optical illusion that has everyone online baffled lately, but rather a stunning painting that was too hard to believe wasn’t a photograph.
Chennai-based artist and photographer Varuna Shreethar has taken social media by storm by sharing a painting of the humble drip coffee. The photo showed very hot coffee served in a small steel cup, inside the dabarah saucer in which it can be chilled, a signature utensil for serving the drink.
It all looked very real, much like a photograph taken with a good camera until you zoomed in to get a closer look at the vernacular newspaper near the cafe. Even the coffee beans scattered on the wooden table looked like the real ones and didn’t look like they had been painted.
I painted filter coffee! 🤧 pic.twitter.com/tmvMLoKVcb
– V (@VforVendakka_) April 21, 2022
While many remained in disbelief, with some wondering why a simple photo of drip coffee drew so much attention, the young artist shared a time-lapse video to show how she pulled off the remarkable painting.
the timelapse! follow my insta @/eigteenpercentgray 🥺♥️ pic.twitter.com/Cfqgi9hX3Z
– V (@VforVendakka_) April 21, 2022
The 21-year-old artist told indianexpress.com which she has been painting since childhood. “I think I started drawing when I was two and had my first exhibition when I was four,” the self-taught artist said.
Although she had more than a dozen exposures, going viral online seemed like a new experience. “When I did the filter coffee painting, I had no idea it would go viral.”
Talking about the intricate details that mesmerized netizens, she explained, “I wanted to incorporate hyperrealism to impressionism in my art, which is why I left the texture so raw in the paintings.”
As many mistook her painting for a photograph at first glance, Varuna said that was exactly what she was aiming for. “You can see the first lines on it but at the same time it would look like a photograph. It was intentional but in no way was I trying to mislead people online,” she added referring to some hateful comments she received.
“My intention is not to reproduce a photograph. That’s what cameras are for, I wanted to create a painting that looks like something you love so much,” she added.
With over 48,000 likes on Twitter and thousands of comments, the tweet showing off the digital painting created huge buzz online. Many have praised the artist for his boundless talent and skill.
“If you look long enough, you’ll see foam bubbles burst. That’s how amazing and realistic it is,” one user commented. “Amazing!! I almost ended up asking you: which camera and which filter? writes another.
WOW! Incredible indeed. I thought it was a photo.
—Amit Paranjape (@aparanjape) April 21, 2022
I REALLY thought it was a pic omfg it’s so amazing!!
— Ishita (@ishimazumdar) April 21, 2022
Same. I was scrolling and thought it was an image. Then I checked out and was blown away✋🏻😭
— Shreya (@Shriya_1202) April 21, 2022
It’s breathtaking! I feel how hot it is 🙂
— Nithya Rajagopal 🌸🎼 (@TheSakuraSong) April 21, 2022
I was wondering what she meant by painting the cafe? It looks like an ordinary cafe, nothing painted on it. Then it hit me… It’s not a photograph. You are really gifted. Wow❤🔥🔥🔥
— Sai Udit Kumar (@yet_to_be_heard) April 21, 2022
Wow It wasn’t until I looked at the newspaper and the coffee seeds that I realized it was a painting 👏 The dabara/mug, the stainless steel glass and the drink have a incredibly natural look.
The time lapse showcased your work in detail 🙏 Has anyone ever told you that you have skills? 👍
— la.khan 🇮🇳 (@lakhan1971) April 21, 2022
BIRAH is a gasp
you are unreal m8 pic.twitter.com/wksdl6B0yu
— Millennium Falcon (@falcennial) April 21, 2022
It can’t be a drawing. Impossible pic.twitter.com/SnrjzVWeQV
—Pranshu Shah (@shahpranshu27) April 21, 2022
the foam all the way up, how in the name of God did you do that. i want a kaaphi filter now
— Kris 🦥 (@noscreennames2) April 21, 2022
😲 wow! Even after watching it 3 or 4 times, it looks like a real cup of hot filter coffee ☕. Only looking at the newspaper indicates that it is a drawing. Otherwise this painting is a marvelous piece of realism.
— Aaditya Kumar (@Aaditya53259182) April 21, 2022
Despite watching the time-lapse video, I still can’t believe what I see in the photo. Looks like a photograph.
Mind-blowing stuff. 👌👌👌😊
— Walter White (@bcchristopher) April 21, 2022
Oh damn it! I can definitely smell the aroma in its purest essence. And I’m drooling with its magical effect on me.
— VinC (@Saar_Castic) April 21, 2022