Artist Claims to Have Drawn Incredibly Photorealistic Pictures with Ballpoint Pen

Melissa Knowles
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Most of us use ballpoint pens to write or doodle, but not Samuel Silva. Silva, a Portugese lawyer who calls art just a hobby, is creating a visual sensation with his ability to use multicolored ballpoint pens and turn a piece of paper into artwork. Artwork that looks so realistic, some people swear it's a photograph or that Silva is not being completely honest about how he creates his drawings.

Tuesday, one of Silva's photorealistic drawings was uploaded to the social news site Reddit, and it became an instant hit. The drawing is based on a photograph of a Russian model. When placed side by side, it's definitely hard to tell the difference between Silva's drawing and the photo. So much so, that some commenters on Reddit are calling foul. One user actually wants Silva to submit a video of him creating one of his drawings to legitamize his works. Silva says he completed this particular drawing with just 7 ballpoint pens that he purchased from an office store.

On the frequently asked questions section of his profile on Deviant Art, Silva explains how he achieves his eye-catching results, "I don't mix nor blend them. Ballpoint pen ink dries instantly and cannot be erased. I just cross hatch the different colors in layers to create the illusion of blending and the illusion of colors I don't actually have." His website features other examples of his drawings that can take anywhere from 5 to 50 hours to create. Drawings include a baby cradled in a dad's arms, Scarlett Johansson as the "Girl With the Pearl Earring," a tiger, a jaguar, and even a bald eagle.

Silva says he was born in 1983 and has been drawing since he was just 2-years-old. Now at 29, Silva's had more than two decades to develop his artistic skills. So far, Silva has not directly responded to those doubting the authenticity of his work.