Astonishing photo-realistic portraits are actually painted by hand

(CNN)The images you are about to see may shock or confound you.

When portraiture looks this realistic, it can be hard to accept that what you see is just paint on a canvas, or ink scratches on a page.
Each image takes weeks to produce, and the artists have used an array of materials on paper, from paint to ballpoint pens.
Discover artists from around the world who are recreating humans and animals in their art -- and producing strikingly lifelike results -- in the gallery above.