Emma Towers-Evans, 29, first picked up a pencil when she was just two years old and said her love for drawing began after watching the movie ‘Free Willy’ when she been inspired to draw killer whales.
Now she creates incredible pencil portraits of people and animals – some of which can take her up to 100 hours to complete – that are so realistic they look like photos.
Emma often completes drawings on large A1 or A0 paper and estimates that each artwork can have over 500,000 individual pencil strokes.
She shares her incredible creations on TikTok and has amassed 264.9k followers and an impressive 4.5million likes on her videos.
In some popular videos, she can be seen drawing portraits of well-known celebrities like Rhianna and Taylor Swift.
The self-taught artist insists that “anyone” can master the craft if they put in the hours after seeing their own skills improve after years of practice.
Emma, an artist from Stourbridge in the West Midlands, said: “I don’t believe people are ‘naturally gifted’ when it comes to drawing.
“It took years of practice, patience and dedication to get to where I am today. I think anyone can reach this level – it just takes the same determination and self-confidence.
Emma enjoyed drawing as a hobby during her childhood and teenage years, but never thought it would be her future career.
While attending the University of Surrey, where she studied music and sound recording, she began to do commissions and often drew pet portraits.
As her success continued, Emma decided to focus on drawing full time and set up her own website.
Now the pencil artist sells his own original work and his subjects are often portraits of people.
She also created a series of big cat designs called the ‘Felidae Series’ and 25% of the proceeds went to cat conservation charities like the Born Free Foundation and Lion Aid.
One of these portraits was based on Christian the Lion – a famous pet lion bought from Harrods in the 1970s – and Emma had permission from the photographer to draw his picture.
She said: “My style is hyper realistic – I try to create something that looks as real as possible.
“I like to draw things from the natural world like people and animals.
“It’s really exciting to see something come to life on paper.”
Emma installed her TikTok – @eteportraits – March 2020 and couldn’t believe the response she received.
His videos capture every step of his drawings and his partner, Nick Harding, 28, edits them.
In a video, she shows the progress of her self-portrait which lasted 97 hours.
Now she is posting to her 264.9k followers and has racked up an incredible 4.5 million likes.
She also has an Instagram page where she posts her stunning designs to her 61,400 followers.
Emma said: “I started the page during lockdown to have a little fun.
“The first one I posted was a time-lapse video of a portrait and I can’t believe how popular it has become. The feedback and support I’m getting is amazing. My boyfriend is editing them and doing a job amazing – I try to get a few out a week”
The self-taught artist tries to encourage others to pick up a pencil and try.
She doesn’t believe in “talent” and believes that artistic skills come from hours of hard work.
Emma said: “I think this ability can be accessible to everyone.
“It’s just a matter of knowing how to do it, which comes with a lot of practice. I think anyone can become an artist if they have the time and the patience.