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Samuel Silva Creates Extraordinary Art Using Only Ballpoint Pens (PHOTOS)

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Updated: Aug 23, 2012 11:04 PM EDT

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Artist Samuel Silva has proven that a ballpoint pen is  much more than just a writing tool. The attorney from Portugal has created complete stunning works of art that look just like photographs, however his only tools are ballpoint pens.

Silva's latest creation has made waves across the internet and has received over 3,000 comments on his DevianArt profile. The artwork "Redhead Girl"  was based on a photograph of  Russian model Kristina Taraina and Silva's ballpoint pen interpretation looks like a photograph itself. The piece took him about 30 hours to complete.

Redhead Girl- Samuel Silva

Silva used six of his eight colored Bic ballpoint pens to create the piece, plus a standard black ballpoint pen. In order to create the various colors, Silva "cross hatches" to create layers and give off the illusion of depth and colors that he doesn't have.

Silva, who became a lawyer in 2007, claims that his art is just a hobby, but his artwork looks quite professional. Born in 1983, Silva started drawing at the age of two. He taught himself how to use the technique of using ballpoint pens to create outstanding pieces of art.

Just like many students sitting through a class, Silva started to doodle on the back of his notebooks, but he soon learned that ballpoint art extended far beyond the margins of a composition book. Silva developed his own unique style and the medium is now his main focus.

"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," Silva says in his DevianArt profile, where he shares his works.

Silva's pieces take him between five to 50 hours to complete and they take plenty of patience. He cleans his pens once every minute while drawing. "It takes me forever to do my works," Silva says in his profile. "The only thing that makes me keep going is my love for what I do and the ambition to go further and further."

Jaguar-Samuel Silva

Silva has 25 ballpoint pen drawings on his profile. His subjects include people, animals, landscapes, buildings, and more. One of Silva's most elaborate drawings is a ballpoint recreation of Johannes Vermeer's  "Girl with a pearl earring." The piece took him 45 hours to complete.


Girl with a Pearl Earring- Samuel Silva


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