Italian Artist Roberto Rizzo Turns Rocks Into Incredible Animal Paintings

Inspired by nature and animals and “driven by emotions and curiosity,” Italian artist Roberto Rizzo, who is now based in southern Spain, paints extremely detailed animal portraits on an unusual canvas—rocks.

Rizzo takes on the challenge of creating acrylic animal paintings that curve around the natural shapes of the rock, making each painting a one-of-a-kind piece of art. He also draws realistic pet portraits for pet parents from all around the world who want to honor their furry friends in a unique way.

Roberto Rizzo has been painting on rocks since 1996. From tiny rocks that can fit in the palm of your hand or close to life-size replicas of an animal—this artist is able to transform any lifeless rock or stone into an incredible hyperrealistic painting that could be easily mistaken for a photograph.

More: Roberto Rizzo, Instagram, Etsy h/t: boredpanda

After classical studies and attending IED (European Institute of Design) in Milan and in the 90s, Roberto Rizzo worked as an illustrator for various publishing houses and painted mainly with watercolors. However, his career took an unexpected turn in 1996.

“I first met the magic of rock painting in 1996. Rock painting made me discover and explore the potential of acrylic. Currently, it’s my favorite medium, even when I work on canvas. Since 1996, part of my artistic activity is dedicated to rock painting art and in 2004, I published with Mondadori the book Sassi Dipinti, which achieved remarkable editorial success in Italy. That manual consisted of tutorials and step-by-step instructions on how to paint different pieces,” Rizzo admits he has wonderful memories from that period that could only be made thanks to the help and advice of his mother, who unfortunately passed away in 2016.

Roberto Rizzo told Bored Panda about his inspirations: “I’ve always loved the many shapes and objects Mother Nature gives us. A variety of life represents my main source of inspiration while I’m painting.

The animal kingdom has especially fascinated me since I was just a child. I firmly believe artists, in their expressive and emotional journey, are bound to get back to their childish feelings and passions, because art has to be first of all pleasure and amusement.”

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