Tottenham-born pencil artist Kelvin Okafor closed his exhibition on Sunday after a highly successful week. The show, at the Mall Galleries London, drew huge crowds after Kelvin unveiled his detailed photo-like drawing of Beatles legend John Lennon to mark the upcoming 50th anniversary of the release of The Beatles’ Abbey Road album.

The week-long exhibition, entitled Retrospective featured a drawing workshop, meet and greet events and the unveiling of his most ambitious drawing to date of the late John Lennon. The photo-realistic portrait, which took 215 hours to create, was drawn using just graphite and charcoal pencils.

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Okafor looked to capture the essence of the legendary singer, songwriter and peace activist in his distinct style, which combines photo-realism with a powerful emotive quality. Okafor will spend days analysing a photo, studying his subjects and watching their videos and interviews to immerse himself in their character, aiming to bring it to life in his portraits.

The Tottenham-born artist said: “The exhibition exceeded my greatest expectations! I was deeply moved by the reception from the general public. I was honoured to have schools visit the show as I had the opportunity to plant a seed of hope and courage in the heart of young creatives.”

The portrait formed part of an exhibition showcasing a selection of Okafor’s drawings from the past 10 years, which contributed to the appreciation of his meticulous craftsmanship around the world. The milestone portraits exhibited were key pieces in his journey as a portrait artist, and earned him numerous awards nationwide, applause from art critics, and the first ever pencil art commission from the Houses of Parliament.

Okafor featured on the BBC last week speaking about his work, exhibition and encouraging young people in schools to draw. He will shortly begin a tour of schools giving motivational talks and speaking about his experiences.

For more information on Kelvin visit