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Pencil Vs Camera - 37 by BenHeine Pencil Vs Camera - 37 by BenHeine
© Ben Heine || Facebook || Twitter ||

NEW: Prints now available!

Checkmate :) The Queen takes the King!!!

I took this picture under a church in Oia, Greece, I also made the rough
drawing on paper. I used to play chess every day some time ago... The
Queen is the most powerful piece in the game, being able to move any
number of squares vertically, horizontally or even diagonally. I intended
to draw a skull ring, I finally opted for a hypnotic knot ring... Thank you
all for your appreciated feedbacks :hug:

See the whole "Pencil Vs Camera" album (48 images so far)

(The above photo has been shot with the Samsung NX10)

>>> Review from THE DAILY MAIL for this picture: "Trick of the eye:
Ben Heine's drawing takes optical illusion to a new level as this floor is
turned into a giant chessboard"
(Kerry McQueeney, The Daily Mail, 2011)

Update: See THIS VIDEO showing some 18 Pencil Vs Camera
images in progress (with a small animation and original music).


For more information about my artwork:

Random features:

Pencil Vs Camera - 36 by BenHeine Pencil Vs Camera - 35 by BenHeine

Pencil Vs Camera - 17 by BenHeine Pencil Vs Camera - 34 by BenHeine

Pencil Vs Camera - 32 by BenHeine Pencil Vs Camera - 25 by BenHeine


A poem by Katie Gabrielle

Pawn, Knight, Bishop, Queen
And King 's mighty mean
Think once, then twice
Playing chess is not so nice
A game of cunning and of mind
Checkmate the King!
And win the game
Outfox the hand
From land unknown
And you shall be
Crowned Chess Queen
Yes, you alone!
Be better, smarter, quicker
Out think, outsmart, outwit
Win, defeat, lose, defy
Make that hand shake
and wonder why
It's fun you say
So come back again
and let's have a play
Good luck!
Said the hand to the mind
Of might
If you have half a brain
You'll agree, I'm right!
Add a Comment:
I would like to start off by saying that I have never seen such a unique idea on DeviantART. Yes, plenty of photos, drawings, and photomanipulations, but never put together in such a perfect way. It leads the viewer to look at these pieces in 3 entirely different ways.

As a photographer, I can already tell that the photo itself would have been quite nice without the drawing in place. Composed well, focused well, and excellent exposure with an attention to capturing the texture and detail of the scene.

As a person who can't draw a bloody thing, but admires those artists who can make a truly accurate drawing, this pleases me to no end. I enjoy your drawing style because it does away with pointless shadows and hard edges. It looks very clean and proper, and the shading is done with the use of lines. It gives the drawing more of a cartoon look, while still being realistic and accurate.

But this piece, and all others like it, need to be rated on how the photo and the drawing come together, and I would be hard pressed to find an issue with any part of it. The elements that have been drawn fit together perfectly with the photo elements, such as the pillars, the arch in the back, and the checkerboard pattern on the floor. This accuracy could have been enough, but then you have gone one step further and created an entirely different scene within the drawing. To turn such a simple checkerboard pattern into a chessboard, with a person playing the pieces, takes true vision and talent.

To give this shot anything less than a perfect score would be a crime.
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
87 out of 89 deviants thought this was fair.

These images you take are very creative. I've never seen another artist do something like this. The seperation between the images and the backgrounds are aligned perfectly if not close to it, and each photo is different from the last. What are the steps you take to make these?
There's nothing bad I can say about any one of these, and I can see that you get better and better with each new photo.
This photo in particular, is not just a chessboard but someone is obviously playing. Putting the ring on the finger, keeps the hand from being dull.
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
3 out of 3 deviants thought this was fair.

The Artist has requested Critique on this Artwork

Please sign up or login to post a critique.

BellaGBear Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
haha love this one. It also works a bit claustrophobic. THe hand closing on to the viewer in such a small space
Markus43 Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
your move!
Alex321432 Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2013
I love your youthful imagination, 
grimjfoot Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2013
Very nice!
GDupons Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2013
Very good work, I like the idea of camera vs pencil and especially this one.

Just one little thing: The king will never taken! Checkmate means, he's attacked and there's no way to parry it. But than the game ends. The last move, the taking of the king will not be executed. It's against the official rules btw! Yes, check is a very noble game. But that doesn't means that it can be only played by snobs, of course! ;-)
felinewyvern Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2013
Very clever - I really like these pictures you make.
PhotoPhobee Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Excellent! It's good to see another one of these submitted! c:
Manlarr Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2013   Photographer
It's brilliant!
carabao89 Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
FLoor174 Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013
AWESOME!!!! I love it so much!! It is FANTASTIC!
kittykolorz Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
oh my gosh so awesome!!!!!i love it!!!!!!!!! keep drawing totally!
eatthatcandy Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2012  Student General Artist
lol! i always imagined those kinda floors as checkerboards!
saikou-aed Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2012
PENCILS ALL THE WAY! These have got to be some of the awesom-est things I have ever seen!
Sylien Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2012
I'm wearing that ring, right, now O.O
ThegirlthatluvsGir Featured By Owner May 1, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
i love playing chess and this is just awesome!!!
TheStarryNightofGree Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2012
lol! That is awesome!
Om-nom-nomnivore Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
This reminds me of something by Escher.
leprowler Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
I play chess all the time! I love this piece!
lululetti Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
How awesome again!
SquirrelGirl111 Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
This series is awesome. It's a brilliant concept - wish I'd come up with something like this! =P
I love this one - I've played chess since I was 5, got all sorts of awards from it as a kid. Don't play so much now I'm in uni but I still do it occasionally. Only thing that bothers me about this is that you can't take the king ^^; but apart from that it's brilliant.
ProdigiouslyRed Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2011  Student General Artist
brcaswell Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2011
I'm sorry, but that was an unfair critique... you should not place value assertions on medias and mediums (in this case a mix-medium) in art, especially when including the relative-based concept of uniqueness into that assertion.

I like Ben Heine's mixed-media style. I agree that, on all the rating factors, he is deserving on 5 stars, but lets focus the critique on the art piece and what is being conveyed, and factor in the mixed-media. (That's to say.. you're being distracted by your appreciation of Ben's mix-media style, and you aren't fully appreciating the piece)

For the art piece, some common questions and concerns...
What does the large hand represent?
What does the ring represent?
What does chess represent?
What does the act of playing chess represent?
What does check mate represent?
What does being checkmated by the large hand represent?

Now, lets factor in the mixed-media, as it is certainly part of what is being expressed here. All of these factors have been brought into the scene (by pencil) overlaying the photographic scene ( deliberately covered up by the artist). which either inspired him in this 'creation', or suited that in which he sought to 'create'.

As a side thought: We have the benefit of reading Ben's description and title; however, from the piece alone, we wouldn't 'know' that Ben was at a church site, nor would we know that Ben had personal experiences, as well as an affinity for, chess. Are these concepts conveyed in the piece by the artist? Yes, that's what prompted him to explain them in the description actually. Would you include them in a Critique of the artwork? The question is important, and I'll 'reveal' why.

Ben's mixed-media style shifts the focus of the questions from 'what are the interpretations of this art piece, or scene' (generic question) to 'The artist has revealed his interpretation of a scene, what is the artist conveying through his interpretation in his art piece'. I keep using the word revealing, because this is the appreciated, systemic value of this mixed-media style: The artist is revealing his perspective, vision, and creativity.

Going a little further, lets factor in Ben's title: pencil vs camera. Why contrast the two, isn't art simply art? No, it isn't. The appreciated artistic value of photography is the authenticate and validity aspect of it. A photographer uses their camera and medium to reveal discoveries. It's been captured in a photograph, therefore it exists. The appreciated artistic value of drawings, and artists that draw, is creativity. Which is a very powerful form of expression for the artist, but is itself a powerful concept: to create. Ben's mixed-media style uses both discovery and creation. You are discovering Ben's creation. Furthermore, Ben is promoting the appreciated artistic value of creation over discovery: pencil vs camera is actually creation vs discovery.

With all this said, a critique of this artwork would go something like this:

In 'Pencil Vs Camera - 37,' by Ben Heine, the artist uses his original, mixed-media style to reveal his vision of playing, and losing, in a somewhat competitive round of chess to what appears to be the hand of God. Within his mixed-media, which is based on optical illusions between two medias, his stark black and white pencil drawing overlay synchronized flawlessly with both the colors and schematic of a pillared hall's tiled floor. This gave an increased level of believe-ability to the illusion of depth within his drawing. The absence of color and minimal shadowing of the drawing media, in contrast with the backdrop colors of the photograph media, draws viewers eyes to this piece at distances. In a closer setting, the eye flows down, or up, the pillared hallway to the focal point of the piece: the drawn, knot ring.
Russell-M Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2011
to me the song "Ive Seen All Good People" by Yes would go perfectly with this :D .... Love ur stuff man, keep up the craziness!!
CharlottLeBronte Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011   General Artist
Wow, this is awesome!!!!!! Your art work is truly brilliant!
Amberstar00 Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
pencil vs camera Team pencil
aaristid227 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I like that you paid enough attention to detail to put the bishops on opposite-colored squares. :D
kiana7w Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2011
DemonicKirby Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2011
I'm a huge fan of chess, and this picture is prolly the best looking art i've seen in a very long time. Your art style is to unique not to love...I wish I had your skills in anything. Great job again.
A-Rock-Lobster Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2011   Traditional Artist
Really love this idea. Superb photography and illustration, wish I could come up with something this original :- )
MrFunnynate Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2011  Hobbyist Artist
shaikh-sahab Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2011
good one.
ramennommer Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2011
WoW!!! this stuff is amazing!!! I like your idea
its so unique!! pictures and pencil great work!!
TataniaRosa Featured By Owner May 25, 2011  Professional Artisan Crafter
KittyTheNekoAlien Featured By Owner May 19, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn!!!! you got skills
NaygonElvanleii Featured By Owner May 7, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
much too good for me....o.O
GirlPuck Featured By Owner May 6, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
All of these pieces are fantastic! I could spend all day looking at your gallery.
painfullycold Featured By Owner May 6, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thats really cool
AlinaCristina Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I have no idea how you do this things but they are AMAZING
MissouriMutants Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
I like it! It's very unique.
Rin-Moon Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That's so cool
ASprawlingUmbrage Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2011
extremely cool concept and execution.
RaZr-XGT Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2011  Student Digital Artist
O.O Dude! Incredible! :iconepiclaplz:
DoveQueen16 Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Zanarky Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Perfect detail, and a hell of a concept. So good!
1996hamster Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2011
this is absolutely amazing, love it!
SChasez Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2011   Photographer
Your outstanding work is featured here: [link] :heart:
Jamjam28 Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2011
Great Idea :juggle:
CoNqUeR-TiMe Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2011  Student Writer
Wow that looks like fun!!!!
Bolm Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Best one of the series. Nice photograph combined with a very thoughtful artwork. Great job! :+fav:
Smaragdia Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
very nice composition. i really like your fantasy game with those drawings :D really cool!

( Oo you visited Greece? i hope you had a good time here ^^ )
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Submitted on
November 15, 2010
Image Size
440 KB


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Camera Data

Shutter Speed
1/180 second
Focal Length
22 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Aug 25, 2010, 12:15:38 PM
Adobe Photoshop CS6 (Macintosh)
Sensor Size