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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:
Maralissa1993 Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2018  New Deviant
swissnaturelover Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2018
The eyes of Sharbat Gula.... :hug:
spacewolflord Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2018
I have to admit that I have seen this before but never noticed her eyes.  Those are amazingly well done and makes one think about how you think of how 'should' be.
Thank you for sharing this and all your work.
Pyragus Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
This is all in ball point pen? where do you get such colors in Ball point? I would love to get some. This is marvelous I love your red headed girl as well! 
VianaArts Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi. I have 8 colors and black. I get them from amazon. Just type 'color ballpoint pens'.
Pyragus Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks so much for the info! I will have to get me some... I have pigment liners but haven't ever mastered anything so amazing! 
Ana-MV Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2018  Student General Artist
I've got no words for this one. Simply spectacular!!
leafman22 Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2018   Writer
this is the so-called "Fata Afgana" (in romanian), that also rhymes with fata morgana (if you know the expression)
anyways, amazing job ! keep up the good work
Amii1512 Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
She is shooked
gvoduc Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2018
jesus H christ.  amazing.  good job.  Seek mental help ;)
Big-Creper2134 Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
That isn't even a drawing, found the EXACT same thing on the internet. Wow, so rude to now even give credit?
VianaArts Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
This is a drawing made from scratch of the original picture. I was given personal authorisation from the photographer. Read the description, credit is there.
uderzoin Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2018   Traditional Artist
Simply unbelievable.
MadDadII Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2017

I am absolutely blown away by the quality, the depth, the colour, technique ... I could go on and on!

My friend, you are so incredibly talented! So many folk, including myself, would be immensely proud to have the ability and talent that you have.

My heartiest congratulations on this and all your other achievements ... Whatever you do, please don't ever stop with your art ... it's an incredible inspiration to me, and, I'm certain, millions of others all around the globe!

I am assuming your first name is Samuel ... the signature on the artwork ... I hope I'm correct ... So please keep it going, brother!

God bless, Samuel!
VianaArts Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi, thank you very kindly for all the support and lovely comment. If at least one person feels inspired, then that makes me happy and it means a lot to me.
beandex Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
WOW. It looks like a photograph. Your artwork is amazing
Big-Creper2134 Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Because it is
Cheesy-Doodles Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2018  Student Digital Artist
It is not, read the description smh.
kogasaur Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's not a photograph. They got special permission to replicate the original photo, from the photographer themself. It says it...right in the description.

and if you don't care to go look for yourself this is what it says.

'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' 

Check your facts before you go telling people lies dude.
Muhammetiali Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2017
Afghan aryans
CarmaTower Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
fernandocoutinho2 Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2017
Great! Congratulations.

Fernando Coutinho
VIXEN-STUDIO Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Wow, what amazing skill and patience. Brilliant!
IamKarly Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
This unbelievably amazing!
This is my favorite photography ever! 
tskyrocker Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2017
WOW! nice work
SoakingPigeon Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2017  Student General Artist
JESUS!! HOW? how do you get those textures with a ball point pen? amazing.
redsesameseeds4 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
it looks almost exactly the same as the photograph!  
Snowy9o Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
This is beautiful :3 I'm trying to draw the Afgan Girl right now but it is harder than it looks :)
Bunger7 Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I have a friend who has eyes just like this girls', it's weird. 
BillTheBill Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2016  Professional General Artist
Durka Durka
101101EV-C Featured By Owner May 10, 2016  Student Digital Artist
Beautiful, this is one of my all time favorite photos and my dream is to do just what you did and replicate it on paper. Unfortunately I am not there yet artistically.
shokirishima Featured By Owner May 3, 2016
you did change the colour of her eyes
VianaArts Featured By Owner May 4, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
No. Probably side effects of scanning.
shokirishima Featured By Owner May 4, 2016
ah maybe anyway it s a very good work :)
emmysheartsncrafts Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2016
Amazing detail.  Bravo!
selandono Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Look at the details. Great work of art.
Lordz-aire Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
this is great stuff
arefehizi Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2016
wow,so beutyful!!!!1
Draxulaura Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
That's absolutely amazing, I can't believe you did it with ballpoint pens 
DarkSchneider62 Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2015
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   Traditional Artist
amazing !
didihyper Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
wow, the eyes!
Maplecry Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2015  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. 
CapnDeek373 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!!!
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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
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