Think this is a photo? Think again

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These hyper-realistic photos are actually oil paintings

(CNN) Water droplets slide down the faces of children as they stare directly at what you could easily believe is a camera.

boyIn fact, they are all paintings by Lagos-born Nigerian artist Oresegun Olumide.

The hyperrealism created in the oil paintings makes his work seem so life like that it is hard to believe they aren’t.

With over 18,700 followers and counting on Instagram, his work is fast gaining momentum online. Water is a recurring theme in his art because according to a popular adage in his native Yoruba language, “water has no enemy,” Olumide told CNN.

The use of water gives a translucent effect and, he says, is “why it’s difficult for many people to do.”

Olumide pushes himself to create art that his community hasn’t seen before and that is challenging for him. He became interested in art at the age of four and started professionally creating art in 2005, Olumide said.

boy 2boy 3The 35-year-old majored in Fine Art at the Yaba College of Technology , Lagos, graduating with a distinction. Drawing inspiration from his community, he is creating pieces that reflect the lives of those around him.

His work, he says, is “a gradual process,” taking around two to three weeks to create individual pieces.

“And depending on the intricacy I want to achieve, it can take a couple of months,” he added.

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