So picturesque, yet so life-like.

3-D artist Stefan Pabst has mastered the trompe l’oeil technique down to a T. He injects life into his subjects with his expertise, and creates images which leave his viewers hypnotised by the vivid colours and angular projections of his work.

When did you discover your love for painting?

Ever since I could hold a pencil, I’ve been drawing. My grandmother knew that my talent was apparent from the age of 5, when I drew complicated drawings from a 250-year old Bible. They were realistic and elaborate pen and ink drawings, and their quality inspired me.

What does painting mean to you?

To me, it represents a connection with my inner I. I think by painting, and it leads me to the realisation of my feelings. But there’s more to it than feelings. Often, when I paint, I’m not thinking. I just thoughtlessly digress and I am simply present. That’s when the best pictures arise.

Portraits are very much alive when there are expressive eyes. When I have the eyes painted, I get the feeling that they’re looking at me.



How did you come to master your technique?

I’m totally self-taught. I didn’t go to art school. I just trained myself. You can learn technical things at art school, such as accurate sketching and making shades. If you master that, then your work is technically correct. However, to me, this wouldn’t really be a work of art. In order for the images to come alive and for the eyes to look at you, you need to be completely present whilst painting, without thinking about doing proper strokes. You’ve got to work on intuitively expressing your inner desire. The viewer sees your presence in these pictures, but it’s not quite yours, but rather of something that’s within the form of the image originated by you.


Why did you specialise in 3-D painting?

I spent years drawing conventional portraits from photos to order. The customers were always very satisfied and it was a lot of fun, but I felt that I had more potential and I wanted to try something new, something other than classic painting.

Has anyone ever had a strange reaction to your work?

Most of the opinions I get are enthusiastic. However, some have written that my work isn’t real or that it’s fake and photoshopped. But I take this as a compliment!



Has anyone famous ever commissioned you for a portrait?

Big companies have asked me to come up with some portraits, and I’m working with advertising agencies who’d like to have a 3-D effect. I’ve also done 3-D cover art for two authors. And yes, I’ve so far been asked to do a portrait for a German singer, some professional athletes, a few comedians, a film maker and one or two politicians.


Follow Stefan on YouTube.