Photo “Printed” by Hand Using 200,000+ Nonpareils Candy Sprinkles

For a fine arts project at his university, art student Joel Brochu spent a whopping 8 months meticulously recreating a photograph using tiny nonpareils (the tiny sprinkles used on cakes and donuts). 221,184 individual sprinkles were placed on the 4-foot-wide board, which was covered with double-sided tape and a thin layer of glue. Each sprinkle was placed by hand using jewelry tweezers.

A custom computer program was used to break the photo down into individual sprinkles, of which there were only six colors: red, orange, green, blue, black, and white. They were combined in different ways to create the different hues seen in the resulting piece — similar to how inkjet printers work. Once completed, the piece was permanently preserved using some clear acrylic resin.

The original photograph is titled “Be Patient“, and was made by photographer Shingo Uchiyama. You can find more photographs here.

(via Flickr via Laughing Squid)

  • Jostein Roalkvam


  • Dmitri

    wow that must have taken some serious, tedious, frustrating, eye-popping work! Great way of transforming a usual photograph into an work of art. Conforms with my theory of relationship between the amount of work/love put in to project and the artistic value of the end product.

  • Anonymous

    Not sure I could live with it on my wall but I absolutely love art that’s just a little bit insane.

  • Anonymous

    Would have taken less time to design a machine to do it automatically.

  • Anonymous


  • will hall

    why a specialist program? im pretty sure you can define the palette to use in a gif image

  • Dave

    Some how I think methamphetamine’s had something to do with this.

  • Anonymous

    ca I just draw your attention to the fact that this is by no stretch of the imagination, a “photo”.

  • White_tulipe

    That’s really amazing that talent make him unique

  • Anonymous

    “There were only six colors: red, orange, green, blue, black, and white”?… I’m pretty sure I spot a yellow sprinkle in the 3rd pic.

  • Zak Henry

    8 Months seems a little slow. My Grandmother does cross-stitches which is pretty much the same DPI, and it doesn’t take her that long.

  • Noun /ˈbʊlək/

    What a letdown. The title of this blog is *Peta*Pixel, yet this “artwork” is clearly of the kilopixel order. 
    Clean up your act, Zhang; I’m not interested unless there’s at least 1000000000000000 nonpareils involved.

  • Michael Zhang

    *sigh*… you’re right. I thought no one would notice…

  • Joe Blount

    I don’t understand all the hate. It’s a really interesting concept and a great piece of art. It might not BE a photograph, but he used photography as part of his inspiration to create the piece. 

  • Noun /ˈbʊlək/

    Don’t mistake me for a hater, I think it’s a fantastic piece of art. 
    It gets right to the heart of how we define photography – if we call a digital print of ink-dots on a page a photo, why not tiny dots of colourful candy?