How One Man Is Tricking Everyone Into Believing In Something That’s Not Really There

Many artists have a speciality—something that distinguishes them from the crowd—but one talented man in Germany is making waves with his unique style of creations.

Artist Stefan Pabst started making works of art when he was just a little kid, and lucky for us, he never grew out of it. Instead, he decided to make art his full-time career! His specific pieces below are attracting the attention of the world, and making many of us question if some are alive

At first glance, this appears to be a glass of water sitting dangerously close to the edge of a table. But appearances can be deceiving, and very often your eyes can play tricks on you. Would you believe that’s no glass at all?

In actuality, it’s the work of artist Stefan Pabst, who uses oil paints and dry brushes to create totally singular 3-D painting experiences. “I want to show that you can do anything with painting,” he says. “I want to show the magic of painting.”

Stefan says that the key to his work is time and patience. Looking at this river trout that practically seems to be diving off the page, it’s clear that he has more than honed his craft over time. Just look at that detail! But you haven’t seen anything yet…

Check out this piece of art Stefan made featuring a wild white stallion. The horse looks so alive that you can practically feel it itching for Stefan to finish up those final details so he can gallop off into the sunset…

This little girl can’t believe what she’s seeing! She knows that this is just a picture of a butterfly, but the way Stefan has executed the image makes it truly captivating all the same. It looks like it’s going to fly away!

If you walked into an artist’s studio and saw this mess of paint and flowers, you might think that this person was a total slob—but that’s not the case here! Stefan loves sharing his passion for painting itself in his art. How “meta” is this one?

These droplets look so realistic that it’s hard to resist the urge to reach out and wipe all of that water away. Can you believe that they were made by a paintbrush? How does he do it?

Is there anything cuter than a miniature dolphin? Stefan has proven that there is: a miniature dolphin that looks like it’s diving right into your hand! This painting is like an animal lover’s fantasy come to life.

Either this little girl is braver than most adults, or she was told right away that the giant tarantula in the room wasn’t alive—just a very realistic drawing. 

And here’s another brave little girl with a much different approach to the big spider on the ground. It might be a cool work of art, but it still gives us the heebie-jeebies!

Stefan loves using this 3-D painting technique so much that he’s thinking about putting together a book on the subject. Looking at his ability to transform things in this magical way, there’s no doubt anything he publishes will be a smash hit.

When Stefan isn’t busy using his incredible skills to bring life to small animals and insects, he’s creating homages to his favorite movie franchises and to the characters he loves from pop culture. Just check out this stellar rending of Darth Vader!

While he’s perfectly capable of creating beautiful and charming images, he’s also not afraid to get a little bit dark, too! Check out this 3-D clown head he created and just try not to let it haunt your nightmares…

Some of Stefan’s strongest 3-D projects are the pencil drawings he creates of simple and ordinary objects like a metallic sphere. Don’t you just want to reach out with both hands and grab it? It’s so realistic!

Can you imagine opening up a notebook and discovering that it contained a deep hole like this? Who can possibly guess what’s waiting for folks at the bottom of this cunning little optical illusion? (All those missed homework assignments, perhaps?)

Who says that LEGO bricks are just for kids? When Stefan is working on rendering giant 3-D versions of the toy building blocks, they are just plain cool enough to attract anyone. Talk about a conversation piece!

Stefan doesn’t just produce work to entertain; he also supports political causes. After terror attacks on France, he created this piece entitled “In Solidarity With Paris.” It’s not just a beautiful piece of art—it’s a touching statement, too.

In addition to creating images that seem to pop right off the page, Stefan has also mastered the art of creating totally photorealistic paintings. Check out this stunning work of a woman’s eye. Doesn’t it look like a photograph?

Chances are it will take you a long time of looking at this drawing before you even realize which parts of it are a drawing and which parts of it are real objects sitting on the paper! That’s just the magic of what Stefan and his pen can do…


People just can’t seem to get enough of Stefan’s tremendous abilities. His goal as an artist was to show just how magical art can be. He’s definitely succeeded on that front—and then some! Here’s hoping he keeps making such fascinating art…

The optical illusions Stefan creates are nothing short of mesmerizing. But what happens when a similarly skilled artist ditches the paper for skin? Well, you get some hyper-realistic tattoos like this. 


1. Eye see you looking at me…


2. Somebody’s been working out!


3. In this case, the shoes go on before the socks.


4. Don’t forget what?! Not exactly the most helpful note.


5. We did a double-take. Doesn’t that glass look real?


6. She always carries her love of ladybugs with her.


7. That looked like it hurt!


8. He’s got a compass with him wherever he goes. Too bad it doesn’t work.


9. Part man, part machine, all Celtic.


10. We can rebuild him, guys!


11. Don’t you just want to pass this thigh a tissue?


12. With a tattoo like that, who needs sleeves?


13. It’s like a very morbid magic eye.


14. Peter Parker, plus or minus an epidermis.


15. We could stare at this for hours…


16. I hope she adds “Must be comfortable with spiders” to her dating profile.


17. Just stay very, very still…forever.


18. That’s way too cool for school.


19. The future’s so bright we’re gonna need shades!


20. So that’s where the sports section went!


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