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Using only colored pencils, art student Heather Rooney creates stunningly life-like portraits. Above: Clint Dempsey and Lionel Messi. Photo by: Heather Rooney

That’s not a photo? Irish American girl’s hyper-real World Cup portraits (VIDEOS)

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Using only colored pencils, art student Heather Rooney creates stunningly life-like portraits. Above: Clint Dempsey and Lionel Messi. Photo by: Heather Rooney

Think that’s a photo? Look again.

Using only colored pencils, 20-year-old art student Heather Rooney creates stunningly life-like portraits.

She’s captured the faces of friends, characters and celebrities, from One Direction to the famous Oscars selfie with Ellen DeGeneres and co. Her most recent inspiration? The stars of the 2014 World Cup.

Progress shots of Rooney's Lionel Messi and Clint Dempsey portraits.

Rooney, whose great-great-grandparents emigrated from Newry, in Northern Ireland, has gained a significant following by posting time-lapse videos of her process to her YouTube channel, which has close to 385,000 subscribers. Some of her videos have over 1 million views, with her most popular, “Drawing Harry Potter," totaling 2.1 million views.

It’s extraordinary to watch as familiar faces emerge from a blank page.

Heather begins each drawing with a pencil outline and then fills in the rest using Prismacolor pencils. Each portrait takes her about two-and-a-half hours.

Rooney began portrait drawing during her Freshman-year art class in high school. "I found I had a skill for it and I really enjoyed the process of realistic drawing," she told IrishCentral.

"I appreciate all of the support I receive online," she said. "When I first started posting drawing videos on YouTube I never expected my following to reach the point it has today. All of the kind comments and feedback keep me motivated to pursue my goals as an artist."

In addition to World Cup superstars Lionel Messi, Clint Dempsey, Neymar, Jr., Christiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney, Heather has also completed portraits of a range of athletes, including LeBron James.

Wayne Rooney.

Her rendition of the famous Oscar selfie (the photo that broke the record for most re-tweets on Twitter) is also amazing – but then again so are most of Heather Rooney's portraits.

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