In September 2021, a video went viral that supposedly showed an artist simultaneously drawing soccer stars Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi using a method that resembled a printer:
This video tended to elicit two reactions: amazement and skepticism.
While many people praised this artist’s amazing talent, others were skeptical that the video was real. Can someone really draw like a printer? Can someone really draw two different pictures using this same printer method?
This artist, DP Trương, has posted a few other videos featuring this printer method of drawing. In 2019, for example, the artist shared this video showing the creation of a Will Smith portrait:
This video, too, stirred skepticism. Josiah Alan Brooks, a popular YouTube artist known as Jazza, attempted to recreate this printing method of drawing and concluded that DP Trương may be tracing when creating these “draw like a printer” videos. This prompted the artist to post a video that showed the process in more detail.
In the following video, you can see that DP Trương has a reference image next to his sketchpad. More importantly, this video shows that these “draw like a printer” portraits are much more time-consuming than the sped-up clips posted online.
DP Trương can certainly draw like a printer. But drawing two images simultaneously like a printer? It appears so.
Before sharing the Messi / Ronaldo video, DP Trương posted a different video showing the completely mundane task (seriously?!) of drawing two identical portraits of soccer star Zlatan Ibrahamivoc at once.
We reached out to DP Trương to get some more information about this video and we will update this article if more information becomes available. At the moment, however, it doesn’t appear that any overtly deceptive edited tricks were used to create this video.
The one thing that appears worth noting is that appears the artist returns to a few areas of the sketches to improve shading after an initial pass. If you watch the video closely, you can see ink being added above the pencil line. Here’s one example from around the 1:52 mark:
While it doesn’t appear that this dual printer sketch was completed in one fluid pass, this video, generally speaking, truly shows an artist simultaneously drawing Ronaldo and Messi using a method similar to a printer.