Irakli Nadar is a Georgian digital artist whose main focus is creating hyper-realistic portraits of beautiful models and pop culture icons. As I see it, all of Nadar’s portraits have been successful because all of them have gone viral and brought him thousands of awestruck followers on social media. This artist’s portfolio is a combination of hyper-realism, wonderful lighting, and a set of unique renditions of popular characters like Overwatch’s Mercy and Princess Mononoke.
I love painting portraits more than anything else, mainly because of their ability to tell you more about a person. One of the things I like to include is photo-references, and I have a tendency to use these a lot. Popular opinion — or the loudest one anyway — holds that using photographs in a painting is cheating. Moreover, copying is another things that this community frowns upon, but you actually learn a great deal from copying. To tell you the truth, it may well be the fastest way to improve as an artist. My recommendation is to study old master paintings. You will need to be very observant in order to learn how they did it, but you can apply everything you learn here in the future. On a side note, the 10,000 hour rule is not going to apply if you are practicing wrong.