The Sideshow

Stunning image of Russian girl is not a photograph

This drawing has stunned viewers with its photographic quality. (Samuel Silva/vianaarts.deviantart.com)Samuel Silva, a 29-year-old attorney in Portugal, has shocked and delighted countless viewers online this week when he uploaded a stunning painting that many mistook for a photograph.

As Colossal notes, the artwork, which was created using only Bic ballpoint pens, is based on this photograph by Russian photographer Kristina Tararina.

Silva, who describes his incredible artwork as nothing more than a hobby, even answered questions on his website deviantART after the illustration of the girl first drew attention on Reddit.

Using only eight different colors, the self-taught Silva told readers that he completed the drawing in about 30 hours. "Ballpoint pens are as underestimated as they are a powerful medium," Silva writes on his site. "It's not about what you use, it's about how you use it."

Silva has also uploaded some of his other lifelike illustrations, which include portraits of tigers, a Japanese palace garden and a newborn baby.

And he promises a wider variety of artwork in the future, writing on his site, "Ballpoint pen is not my only medium, it's just the one I'm currently trying to master. At this point in my life I'm proficient with chalk, pencil, color pencil, pastels, oils and acrylics. Maybe one day I'll create an account just to share those."

Another of Silva's masterful ballpoint drawings. (Samuel Silva/vianaarts.deviantart.com)