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Pencil Vs Camera - 12 | by Ben Heine
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Pencil Vs Camera - 12



I took this photo in Braives, Belgium. I also drew the rough funny sketch. These are my donkeys (mother on the left and young son on the right). They are totally mad! Yes I know, that one isn't really poetic, lol! In every couple, there is always a crazy donkey...


NEW: Buy high quality prints of this photo.


>>> Review from THE DAILY MAIL for this picture: "What an ass: These two donkeys are given a Heine makeover, complete with crazy sunglasses and thought bubbles" (Kerry McQueeney, The Daily Mail, Sept. 2011)


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For more information about my artwork:




If you're interested, here below are answers I gave to Simon Crisp (for explaining how I started the "Pencil Vs Camera" series. You can find many other interviews about Pencil Vs Camera at THIS LINK.


How did you come up with the idea for Pencil Vs Camera?


I’ve been taking photos and drawing since almost 10 years. This « Pencil Vs Camera » series is nothing but the result of several years of graphic exploration and a logic consequence of my artistic evolution. But the real idea came by coincidence while I was watching television and writing a letter at the same time a few weeks ago. Reading my letter before putting it in the envelope, I saw the television screen behind the thin transparent paper. I then realize it would be great to make something similar in a single image showing 2 different actions.


I went outside and Drew « Pencil Vs Camera 1 » which is very simple and shows 2 chairs with a small table. About ¼ of the scene is represented on the paper, the other ¾ happens on the photo. So this is roughly how the project started. In my other « Pencil Vs Camera » images, I tried to introduce weird elements on the paper (such as dinosaurs, ufo’s, double pair of eyes…) to contrast with the realism of the photo.


How do you pick the photos you use?


The photos and drawings always come from my own stock/production. I somehow consider the surface of the image as a battle between drawing and photography and the tools of this fight are my « pencil » and my « camera ». So I usually choose photos with a striking subject and a specific action. It can also be nice to use a background scenery with a very simple or low semantic effect and make everything happen inside the small piece of paper.


The great thing is that photo and drawing are 2 different ways of expression but they go well together and they definitely have the same purpose: share an idea, an emotion, a concept or a message.


How do you pick what to add?


There are no rules. There mustn’t be. Imagination and creativity are the leitmotif. This is why this series is so amusing to do for me. You can choose to draw something in a realistic way or to rather go crazy. I personally prefer to show unreal things on the paper because the photo is a mere reflection of the world we live in.


I noticed that representing a strong perspective on the paper (for instance in Pencil Vs Camera 4 or 8) gives a good illusion and generates a nice visual impact when it matches the main lines of the background scenery. It is very exciting for the viewer to ignore what’s really behind the paper. It is clear for me that it really is the battle between drawing and photography that is the whole message and purpose of the series.


What are your favourites so far?


I don’t really have favourites. I let the viewer decide what he prefers and I’m only thinking about my next projects.


What reaction have you had to them?


This series has had a very positive outcome. I really didn’t expect that. I’m very happy of the good feedbacks I’ve received from all over the world. I think and I hope this technique will become a new form of expression for everybody. So good luck!




Both of Us


A poem by Peter S. Quinn


This is you and this is me

Friends for life together

In a lifestyle as you see

That’s neither punk nor leather


To be known we two are trying

And to make a difference too

But we both would be lying

If it had come clearly through


We frequently ponder why

We need showbiz stand neon

Then remembered a girl said hi

And her name was Paris Hilton

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Taken on April 5, 2010