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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:
DarkSchneider62 Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2015  New Deviant
I know that girl ! Her eyes came from another planet ! But now, that woman is not as cute as she was young...
Forest-of-Blades Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2015
I first saw that photo in the National Geographic. It made a big impression on me, I can see why you decided to draw it.
Her eyes were greener, if I remember correctly.
laocaikhanh Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2015  New Deviant  Traditional Artist
amazing !
didihyper Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
wow, the eyes!
Maplecry Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2015  New Deviant Hobbyist
I was looking through your gallery after seeing some of your other pictures, and I nearly fell off my seat when I saw this one! It's amazing! I love the eyes, they are mainly the reason I nearly fell off the chair... Eheh... Besides my clumsiness, amazing work! I would love to see you draw horses (unless you have and I haven't seen them yet) because they are beautiful creatures. 
CapnSkusting Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2015  Professional General Artist
I still have the issue that this was the cover for!
One-Percent Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2015
Photo... drawing... In yours, I can't tell the difference *minds explodes* :grinstareclap: 
I love it too much! This is another level altogether xD
meromeFurever Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2015
It's really amazing but when I first saw it I jumped cuz it looks like she's staring into my ßoul
bugnut6770 Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2015
I recall this image on the cover of Nat Geo when I was a lad.  This is a stunning portrayal of an absolutely incredible image.  Very well done.
eliezer29 Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2015   Digital Artist
absolutely impressive! You are a surgeon with the pen! I have to add that I even like more your rendition of the photos than the photos themselves give them new life. Bravo! 
PenInker Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
that was awesome!!!
TFWO Featured By Owner Edited Jun 27, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
So realistic work) I'd never believe that this is draw with pens if you didn't mention it)) Wonderfully and
capture the imagination)
Mibitat Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2015  Student General Artist
Truly astounding! It's amazing how you can create such a variety of colours with only a few pens!
shuu-washuu Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2015   Digital Artist
Amazing tribute. I admire your traditional skills so much!
QuillandInk449 Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
she has amazing eyes 0.0
CheyenneDrake Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
this is.. wow. you're very amazing at what you do
chezart Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2015   Traditional Artist
So stunning, amazing :-)
Thirteen-of-Spades Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2015
Master of ballpoint pen strikes again

ChaseAvano Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Tears of joy at how great your artwork is! Wow! This is Incred....... I Can not Believe my eyes! Just Great Artwork!!
DatAussieDo Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2015  Student Artist
Dis has to be a photo You have to be like the best "realistic" drawer in the whole entire flippin world!!!
RaikaiRan Featured By Owner May 29, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
her eyes are stunning. I love the expression
AmericaxAlice Featured By Owner May 28, 2015  Student General Artist
I had to debate with myself wether the picture was real or not.... wow... it's truly amazing!!!
peas23 Featured By Owner May 25, 2015  Student General Artist
Holy shit wow those eyes tho
This actually very realistic, kudos man
ErnestoVladimir Featured By Owner May 24, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You have a super-power, man XD Seriously. 
mahiyanacarudla Featured By Owner May 23, 2015
Megsicana Featured By Owner May 20, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You definitely have the skill now!!
Legonie Featured By Owner May 18, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
wow this is truly amazing! you did an outstanding job, the picture captures her story really good ^^
MakoMoonPool Featured By Owner May 18, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
It seems so realistic :)
MyChibiKitsune Featured By Owner May 17, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
stunning eyes. :o
Tavyrus23 Featured By Owner May 17, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
AH her eyes
SweetySetsu Featured By Owner May 15, 2015  Student General Artist
Waouh *-* It's so beautiful !
barbara-art Featured By Owner May 11, 2015   Traditional Artist
Absolutely mesmerizing piece.
wateralloveru Featured By Owner May 7, 2015  Student Digital Artist
this fuckin amazing.. her eyes are telling much deep feelings
Taranger Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
SilentHome Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2015   Traditional Artist
excellent texture!
SAibIRfan Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
this seems real, unbelievable man :D
Bhaskar2312 Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
One of the best drawings i have seen of this famous photograph. I have made my own attempt at pencil sketching Sharbat Ghula as well but yours is way better. Please check for my pencil sketch of the Afghan Girl
JavaBeanJohnny Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist

That's....awesome... OoO
The-Artist-Incognito Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Her eyes look like they're staring into your soul. Great Job! You captured her beauty perfectly! 
AzureScarlette Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
i thought the exact same thing!!! wow!!!!
DenitaTwoDragons Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2015
I am absolutely STUNNED here!! Your work is incredible!! 
AngelX1992 Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Bellisimo. Beautiful <3
inge3v1l Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
This is amazing!
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  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
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
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Submitted on
August 14, 2013
Image Size
1.6 MB


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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.