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Artist paints photorealistic aquatic life in three dimensions

Singapore artist Keng Lye uses paint and resin to create incredibly lifelike 3D representations of life under the water.

Please don't eat me! CC BY 2.0, Keng Lye

It looks like a fish swimming in a bowl, or a serving of living octopus in its own salt water, but the photorealistic works of Singapore-based artist Keng Lye are not even sculptures, but paintings. He uses a technique developed by Japanese artist Riusuke Fukahori, using acrylic paint and resin to build up, layer by layer, images of creatures swimming in water.

Alive without breath. CC BY 2.0, Keng Lye

The technique involves starting with a container and pouring in thin layers of clear resin. When each layer dries, the next "slice" of the creature is painted on and allowed to dry before the next layer is poured. It's quite a painstaking process, but the effect, as you can see, is stunning.

Lye, however, has added something to Fukahori's process to give the paintings even more depth -- or, actually, height.

"I've decided to incorporate another element into this medium; for this instance, it was a piece of pebble," he said on his Deviantart page. "The whole idea here was to give the art work a[n] even more 3D effect, therefore you can view it at any angle. That's all this experiment is all about." In this case, the pebble forms the octopus' head; in another such experiment, he used a piece of eggshell as a turtle's shell.

If dinner is still twitching, don't eat it! CC BY 2.0,Keng Lye

The series, called "Alive Without Breath," can be viewed on Lye's Deviantart and Flickr pages. Meanwhile, you can watch Fukahori demonstrating his technique in the video below.

(Source: Crave Australia via Colossal)