Canadian paper artist Calvin Nicholls creates hyperrealistic sculptures and portraits that feature animals such as birds, foxes, and bears.
“I still recall working on my first bird sculpture and marveled at how my interest in drawing, model making, sculpting, and photography blended so beautifully with my life long interest in wildlife and the natural world,” he writes on his website. “Every piece is a discovery of sorts too. I’m always learning with each new sculpture.”
Each of his pieces takes tens and hundreds of hours to create, depending on their size and level of detail.
“Detailed fur is slow and feathers can be equally challenging so predicting accurately how long a piece will take is very difficult,” writes Nicholls. “The largest sculptures I’ve done require several hundreds of hours while the more modest pieces keep me busy for two or more weeks. Familiarity with the subject is a big factor as well. My love of birds often propels me through pieces much faster than when sculpting subjects with emphasis on musculature and structure.”
And though the finished product looks incredibly fragile, Nicholls assures his followers that his sculptures stay put.
“The cuts and texture are often tiny and very delicate but due to the numerous glue joints for every piece, the overall strength is substantial. Tests of the bond between glue and paper reveal that when deliberately forced, the paper tears while the glue seam remains intact.”
Check out some of his work in the gallery below.