Realism portrait drawings -
Maria Villioti, "Loneliness," graphite, 18 x 15 in. "I love painting interesting faces," says Villioti. "I choose to paint people whose faces tell stories. I usually know the story of the person I paint, but in this particular situation he was a stranger. I asked him to pose for me and he didn’t deny. He seemed to me as a man full of experiences. In every line I drew I was imagining the difficulties of his life. He looked like a person who lived an intense and unconventional life. I was thinking that unfortunate situations should have led him to loneliness."

Meet this week’s top Realism Today Ambassador, Maria Villioti.

Maria Villioti was born in the small historic island of Salamis, nested away in the inlet of the Saronic Gulf. Now she lives in Athens, Greece. She is married and has a son.

Villioti studied fashion design, freehand drawing. Although she occasionally works with acrylics and oils, her favorite mediums are colored pencils and graphite.

She has participated in many joint exhibitions in Greece, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and Italy. Villioti has four solo exhibitions in Athens, Zakynthos, Chania, and Thessaloniki, Greece.

She teaches pencil techniques to adults and organizes workshops throughout Greece. She loves realism and her artwork includes portraits, still lifes, cityscapes and landscapes.

She is silver signature member of UKCPS, member of CPSA, master member of CPCAU and also member of International Guild of Realism.

Realism portrait drawings -
Maria Villioti, “Overwhelmed,” graphite, 19 x 14 in.
“Man is my main subject and focus in painting. Each and every single expression reveals a different emotion. I like delving deeply into people’s faces and even more I love depicting these feeling through my pencils. I named this particular work “Overwhelmed” so as to express what I can see by looking into it: A man who is holding his head in an effort to gather his thoughts after an event which has probably devastated him and led him to deep reflection. Looking through his stare, one can infer pain along with anguish.”
Realism portrait drawings -
Maria Villioti, “Sculpting Time,” colored pencil, 26 x 18 in.
“I find it motivating to paint portraits of old people because of how their skin has been carved throughout the years. It’s like creating a sculpture whose every single wrinkle has a unique story to narrate. All these stories compose the wisdom of aging. Creating a portrait is a challenge and requires a lot of time. I had to devote numerous hours to depicting such a great number of wrinkles.”

Learn more about the artist at

Related > Browse portrait and figure workshops in the style of contemporary realism here.