01/10/2012 03:22 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Mark Powell's Beautiful Envelope Portraits (PHOTOS)

London-based artist Mark Powell has produced these striking drawings despite only using the most basic of materials: ink and paper. His recent series of portraits can be found on vintage envelopes, and the results are captivating.

Powell's portraits typically focus on elderly subjects, but the artist is capable of capturing a range of forms with only a run-of-the-mill Bic Biro pen. The use of envelopes as opposed to a more traditional canvas make the portraits feel like forgotten snapshots, never intending to see the light of day.

Bic Biro on 1920's Egyptian envelope, 2012

"I like to think that I am preserving a little bit of history in some small way as some of the envelopes date back to 1852, I feel that this adds extra character over that of a blank sheet of paper."

Powell's portraits are amusing in the way they incorporate the lines and postage stamps of the envelopes into the wrinkles and shading of each distinct face. Each portrait becomes as much about the canvas as it is about the person depicted, adding another layer to examine as the viewer gets lost in the eyes of the subject. View a slideshow of the stunning portraits below.

Mark Powell - Bic Biro drawings on vintage envelopes