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Links and articles about technology, design, and sociology. Written by Rian van der Merwe.

What children’s drawings would look like if they were painted realistically

The Monster Engine is one of those projects that make me love the Internet for its ability to expose amazing creative talent to a worldwide audience. Illustrator Dave DeVries started with a simple question: What would a child’s drawing look like if it were painted realistically? In his own words:

It began at the Jersey Shore in 1998, where my niece Jessica often filled my sketchbook with doodles. While I stared at them, I wondered if color, texture and shading could be applied for a 3D effect. As a painter, I made cartoons look three dimensional every day for the likes of Marvel and DC comics, so why couldn’t I apply those same techniques to a kid’s drawing? That was it… no research, no years of toil, just the curiosity of seeing Jessica’s drawings come to life.

The Monster Engine is the 48-page outcome from that curiosity, and it looks wonderful. He describes the process as follows:

I project a child’s drawing with an opaque projector, faithfully tracing each line. Applying a combination of logic and instinct, I then paint the image as realistically as I can.

Below are some of my favorite illustrations from the project. Be sure to check out the whole gallery.

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Buy “The Monster Engine” on Amazon.