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Submitted on
August 14, 2013
Image Size
1.6 MB


74,861 (9 today)
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Creative Commons License
Some rights reserved. This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.
Afghan Girl - Ballpoint Pen by VianaArts Afghan Girl - Ballpoint Pen by VianaArts

Afghan Girl - Ballpoint Pen on paper.

16-10-2014 Update: I am re-releasing this drawing in a much higher resolution, so people can see its true detail. Enjoy!

I always wanted to draw this ever since I first saw it when I was 8 years old, but kept postponing it because I lacked the skill.

Sharbat Gula (Pashto: شربت ګله‎) (pronounced [ˈʃaɾbat]) (born 1972) is an Afghan woman who was the subject of a famous photograph by journalist Steve McCurry. Gula was living as a refugee in Pakistan during the time of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan when she was photographed. The image brought her recognition when it was featured on the cover of the June 1985 issue of National Geographic Magazine at a time when she was approximately 12 years old. Gula was known throughout the world simply as "the Afghan Girl" until she was formally identified in early 2002.

The photograph has been likened to Leonardo da Vinci's painting of the Mona Lisa and is sometimes popularly referred to as "the Afghan Mona Lisa". Pashtun by ethnicity, Gula was orphaned during the Soviet Union's bombing of Afghanistan and sent to the Nasir Bagh refugee camp in Pakistan in 1984. Her village was attacked by Soviet helicopter gunships sometime in the early 1980s. The Soviet strike killed her parents, forcing her, her siblings and grandmother to hike over the mountains to the Nasir Bagh refugee camp in neighboring Pakistan.

She married in the late 1980s and returned to Afghanistan in 1992. Gula had three daughters: Robina, Zahida, and Alia. A fourth daughter died in infancy. Gula has expressed the hope that her girls will receive the education she was never able to complete.

Took aprox. 120 hours to finish over a period of 40 days. Lost about 30% quality during scanning.

The size is 10" x 8" or 20 cm x 26 cm.
A few wip shots for this drawing:
Other wips:

Thank you for faving and watching.


Due to thousands of questions and my lack of time to answer them all here are the answers for the most frequently asked:

» FAQ « |

More like this from me:
Tiger - Bic Ballpoint Pen by VianaArts Ocelot - Bic Ballpoint Pen by VianaArts Angry Tiger - Ballpoint Pen by VianaArts Redhead Girl - Ballpoint Pen by VianaArts Palace garden in Kyoto, Japan, Bic Ballpoint Pen by VianaArts

Materials: 8 Bic Cristal Pocket Scents colored ballpoint pens:… also Classic black Bic ballpoint pen and Classic blue Bic ballpoint pen on 300g/m2 A4 smooth paper.

Artwork © Samuel Silva - `VianaArts 2013 All rights reserved.
Reference photo © National Geographic/Steve McCurry All rights reserved. Special written authorization was given to me by Steve McCurry to draw and display this drawing

:icondonotuseplz::iconmyartplz: :iconnot-auth1plz::iconnot-auth2plz::iconnot-auth3plz:
Add a Comment:
Tonidanielle Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2014
She had beautiful eyes and you have captured that very well!  
sweetpie2 Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2014
RobertoDS Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2014
amazing rendition of the popular photo!
SaffronBreeze Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Your work is remarkable!
the-kinslayer Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
LadyKylin Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2014
I would love to see you do a video of how you do the amazingness you do. I understand that you use ball point pens, I just don't understand how you get it to look like that. It blows my mind.

Also proof that a great artist can do great things with pretty much anything.
FlorQueDaFulgor Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2014
it's wonderful
sandman2309 Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2014
your talent is god like, steve mccurry would love this you should send him a copy, i met him not too long back too, great guy, great life
nikonf3user Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
like you i have known this photograph since it first appeared on the cover of national geographic and have it on my studio wall you may like to have a look at a photograph by called one life; there is a great similarity in the facial expression and being darker closer to the original Afgan girl photograph. awesomw as your copy is it is a bit lighter than the original but you have caotured the saddness in the eyes stunningly thank you for sharing your talent. best wishes Tony
Irishk9 Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Still love its crispness and clarity
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