Thursday, August 23, 2012

Samuel Silva's Incredible Photorealistic Ballpoint Pen Drawings

I thought ballpoint pen drawings were inherently monochromatic, but then I discovered Samuel Silva’s ballpoint pen art. Using just eight different colored ballpoint pens, Silva creates incredibly photorealistic portraits of people, animals and landscapes. Samuel Silva uses regular BIC ballpoint pens and each drawing can take from 5 to 50 hours to finish. “I don't mix them [colors] nor blend them. Ballpoint pen ink dries instantly and can not 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”, explains Samuel Silva on his DeviantArt page.

Silva says he started drawing from the early age of just 2. “I started drawing and developing my own style of ballpoint pen drawing back when I was in school, in simple classroom sketches in the back of my exercise books. I never imagined there were so many brilliantly masterful ballpoint artists out there.”

The 29-year-old Portugal based Samuel Silva is an attorney by profession and art is just his “hobby”. I would love to see what he achieves when he makes art his profession.

“Ballpoint pen is not my only medium”, Silva says, “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. Maybe one day I'll create an account just to share those.”

samuel-silva-7

samuel-silva-1

samuel-silva-3

samuel-silva-4

samuel-silva-5

samuel-silva-6

samuel-silva-8

samuel-silva-2

Thanks Clare for the tip.

53 comments:

  1. If a drawing is placed over the photograph and EVERYTHING lines up exactly: and the artists claims they were only glancing at the original placed above their easel (i.e. no tracing or image reflection/transposition of any kind) then you have every right to be suspicious.
    Example: try to scribble 100 lines on a blank piece of paper, at random lengths and angles. Then copy it without tracing and see how close you get. No matter how good you are I believe the 2 won't match up exactly.

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    1. You are an idiot. And probably will be for the rest of your meaningless life. This guy is already in history and a legend.

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    2. Definately you are an idiot!!

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  2. "trying to master" LOL, thats humility. Amazing.

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  3. K C Thorne Redheadsister03@hotmail.comAugust 24, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    Does anyone know if he was drawing these from models or people he knew or just random people? I really would like to know because the re head at the top looks exactly like me. I even thought it was a picture of myself. If anyone knows anything I am just very curious and interested. Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. The red head is from a picture of a model. I believe she was Russian. I believe. Other websites show the real picture and the drawing.

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  4. Hell, even if he traced them outright from a photograph, his ability to shade and blend colors using only ball point pens is absolutely amazing, in and of itself.

    I doubt he traced them though. The general shape is the easy part to come up with, it's all the shading and color blending where the real work is.

    Even if they were traced though, a photo doesn't show you where to make your marks to blend the shadows and colors together properly.

    The man is an amazing talent.

    If I hadn't been looking for pen strokes, I'd have easily mistaken that first pic for a photo.

    Beautiful skillful work.

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  5. These are simply incredible. The first two works are very difficult to distinguish from a high-res photo. I would kill for rendering ability like that. Incredible work.

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  6. To heck with the art talk. The only important question is, who is the red haired girl and where are more pictures of her?

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  7. Replies
    1. That's traced. Too perfect. Inhuman. Still talent, but traced.

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  8. It's Kristina Tararina. I'll be in my bunk.

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    Replies
    1. Kevin, not Kristina, but she is a photographer who took picture of a Russian girl. Actually, the photo has her signature, and she should be given credit.

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  9. Undoubtedly, those in the "art community" will deny that what Silva does constitutes art.

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    Replies
    1. you are so wrong, this is ART

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  10. How big are the images?

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  11. Its beautiful, but looking at the photos from Kaushik, and speaking as a graphic artist who uses photoshop extensively, the work looks photoshopped to me. Or done with one of the paint programs. I have a lot of trouble believing this was done with ball point pen, but if it is, I'd like to see the process.

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  12. A high-end inkjet printer can be used to produce a very faint image on uncoated paper ─ the 'artist' then has a template to work from...
    The only skill needed is that of the 'light touch'!

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  13. I am a pen/brush/ink artist with work displayed in Chicago galleries. I don't use technical pens -- I use ONLY the traditional crow quill pens which make it possible to get a much finer, controlled line (but only with much practice and perfecting of the technique) than any other kind of tip. The strokes that would be needed to create this kind of effect are not even possible with crow quill. Conversely, ball point pens are among the bluntest kind of pen out there. This "artist" is scamming you folks (shame on him). It's simply NOT POSSIBLE. Sorry, guy.....you're BUSTED.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. "The strokes that would be needed to create this kind of effect are not even possible with crow quill. Conversely, ball point pens are among the bluntest kind of pen out there. This "artist" is scamming you folks (shame on him). It's simply NOT POSSIBLE. Sorry, guy.....you're BUSTED."

      I do photorealism in ballpoint pen. It is POSSIBLE. You are just not trying hard enough. These are black pen, but what Silva is doing is the same exact thing but with some color. I've looked carefully at Silva's pictures, and yes they are legit, ballpoint pen. Don't believe me? Here is my work... it's not a far stretch to add color. You don't get the effect with a quill because ballpoint pen is an oil based ink that allows for half tones.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5cKYYQWzDE

      https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152411097535182&set=o.162470820490545&type=2&theater

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    2. I do photorealism in ballpoint pen and it IS POSSIBLE. It's not possible with a crow quill because ballpoint pen has an oil based ink that is capable of half tones, so no wonder. What I do is black ballpoint pen, the only difference is that Silva does it with color, not a far stretch. I've studied this work and it is completely legit, see here:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5cKYYQWzDE

      https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152411097535182&set=o.162470820490545&type=2&theater

      Delete
  14. "I am a pen/brush/ink artist with work displayed in Chicago galleries. I don't use technical pens -- I use ONLY the traditional crow quill pens which make it possible to get a much finer, controlled line (but only with much practice and perfecting of the technique) than any other kind of tip. The strokes that would be needed to create this kind of effect are not even possible with crow quill. Conversely, ball point pens are among the bluntest kind of pen out there. This "artist" is scamming you folks (shame on him). It's simply NOT POSSIBLE. Sorry, guy.....you're BUSTED."

    So because you aren't aware of a technique it means it must be a fake?

    Poppycock. I work with ballpoint myself, and while I don't mix as many colours (mainly because it's difficult to get decent quality ballpoint pens besides black, blue and red) I can testify that shading with ballpoint is very much possible.

    A very steady hand and a HUGE amount of patience is required (one mistake can ruin the picture) but it is definitely possible.

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  15. If he made these drawings small then it would not be possible to draw them. However it seems to me that these pictures were done quite large which means it IS POSSIBLE for him to do these with a ball point pen even if you weren't talented enough to do. =]

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  16. Typical, people are shown something beautiful and amazing - all they can do is shoot it down or question it's authenticity. It may 'fake' or it may not be. Either way, it's there to be admired, to inspire wonder or awe.
    The technicalities of how it came to be may be interesting, but the final product is what really matters. Does a flower become any less beautiful when you realise it is man-made?

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  17. Anyone who doubts this in my opinion needs to just stop being jealous. The man obviously is loaded with talent a gift. And saying its copied or traced or photoshopped? I mean come on you can look at the picture and the drawing and see they don't match up "perfectly". There are differences. So for all the "artists" that posted saying its "fake" get over yourselves and recognize that the man straight up is gifted. Thank you have a nice day

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  18. Those of you who question it, either it is envy or produce half as good..otherwise, no need for you to 'speculate' or 'analyze' like you're an expert in this field. Give the artist a benefit of doubt rather than continual questioning and debasing his artwork.

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  19. His talent with using cross-hatching is really stunning. His technical brilliance is indisputable. But when we admire the picture and the composition, we are actually admiring the work of the photographer which is the basis for the drawing, and who does not receive recognition.

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  20. Went searching on e-Bay,Amazon, and everywhere else on the net for Bic Ball Point Ink colors. Brown and White does not exist.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your paper is the white, and brown does exist, I am looking at one I own right now. Papermate ballpoint pen color: brown.

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  21. For Brown you just blend red and black, for White you simply leave the area blank!

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  22. Why do people jump to judgement so quickly? Yes they do have those ink colors. Go to pensfast.com...they have brown & white bic ball point gel pens!

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  23. No doubt there is a lot of skill involved in hashing with ballpoint pens like this, but calling the original photo a "reference" as he does is really disingenuous when it is very obviously traced.

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  24. I took an art class which incorporated various styles and skills. One of my classmates used colored pencils to copy 8 1/2 x 11 paintings (in a book). She never showed them nor sold them but when she was done no one in the class could guess which was the "real" one and which was the "copy."

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  25. Beautiful artwork ...fantastic man

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  26. I like that a lot of the people commenting aren't artists or are just trying to prove the work wrong. It's entirely possible, and the original does vary enough. It does count as actual artwork, in fact most artists work off of portraits that have been taken to be reproduced in a particular style. Now as far as the ballpoint pens, it's entirely possible, but from the style I see on the top one it looks like mixed media. The others I can see being pen on scratch board. As far as working with crow quill pens (which are often, but not always, a lot more work than they're worth) or ballpoint pens and getting finer detail? It's easy to achieve with a large medium. Most people don't realize a lot of very in depth pieces are done on large planes and can't visualize a comparison when it's shrunk down in a picture like these are.

    I'd love to see the original pieces.

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  27. The work doesn't vary enough at all. Remember the Obama "HOPE" poster? Shepard Fairey, the artist, paid an enormous settlement to the original photographer.

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  28. I am an artist myself, and there is a world of difference between using a "reference", and making an exact copy of someone else's work. No legitimate art school would accept this as the student's own creation. Copying an artwork can be a valuable learning exercise, but it's just an exercise. I looked at this guy's gallery, and it appears that every source is someone else's image. Putting aside the argument about whether his work is "art", he is doing tremendous damage to himself as an artist, as he is doing nothing to develop his own sense of design, composition, and vision.
    I honestly think people are mainly reacting to the beauty of the original photo and model, and that is 100% the work of the photographer. What's her name again?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So, you are an artist yourself!?!?!?
      Lets have a look:
      http://appaluciefiberarts.blogspot.de/
      Nothing special, looking like normal folkloric handicrafts.....
      Similar to these:
      https://www.google.de/search?q=kl%C3%B6ppeln&hl=de&client=ubuntu&hs=A3P&tbo=d&channel=fs&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=bVoYUajVG83KtAbQ44DoBQ&ved=0CAoQ_AUoAA&biw=1280&bih=610

      http://appalucie.deviantart.com/art/E-Chord-31579674
      http://appalucie.deviantart.com/art/Path-to-Murren-31044165
      I am not impressed!!!

      Delete
  29. the redhead lady is a Russian Model named Love Ansimov

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  30. Copying a work is only an exercise but if you read on the artist is a lawyer full time. this is his hobby. perhaps if he worked as an artist he could create original works. but, as this is a very time consuming medium it doesn't work to both come up with original ideas and draw them while working on a court case.

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  31. To everyone whining about this: clearly your superior artistic abilities aren't being published or discussed so maybe you're not so superior after all. Get over yourselves. I'm a full time professional artist (not as a hobby) and this dudes stuff is awesome. What is it about an art degree that turns people into pretentious cunts?

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  32. Just to say, not all ball point pens MUST be made by the Bic company..............come on guyz.........

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  33. The artist claimed that the black was the result of patience, and that there as no digital post manipulation. Ball point pens, however, score the surface of the paper, so there will always be heterogeneous deposits of ink. Running the photos that have large sections of black through any image processing program will show that the black is digitally perfect -- exactly zero. Even spilling black ink smoothly onto a page can not produce this color.

    Sorry... at the very least, this art is being misrepresented by Silva. We want to believe these things are true, but it takes very little analysis to show that we've been duped. This is not to say that all of his pictures are fake, but that he's being dishonest about certain forensically verifiable components.

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  34. It is absolutely possible to draw like this in ballpoint pen, I've been doing it for thirty years, and it's not as uncommon as you think. While it's possible that he traced the outlines, it's also possible that he drew them freehand. One of the sobering realizations of going to art school is that there are a lot of really talented people out there who can draw spectacularly well. I just hope the artist realizes that ballpoint pen ink is prone to fading, and fading pretty quickly if the picture is hung in a spot that gets a lot of sun. This is what soured me on ballpoint pen drawing, because that's an awful lot of work and it may not last. It's a shame, because it's actually an enjoyable way to draw, very meditative, the pen glides much more smoothly than a pencil and you get a darker line with less pressure. Learning to make faint marks, and thinking very carefully about where that next un-erasable line will go, is surprisingly enjoyable and it's good mental discipline. An alternative to ballpoint which will last longer, but give that same experience of gliding smoothly over the paper with un-erasable lines, is to draw in silverpoint. It's an old technique from the Renaissance, and I know New York Central Art Supply sells the specially coated paper used for silverpoint. The drawback is that it will not be in color, only black and white.

    Regarding the criticism that the photographer's work is going unacknowledged here, that's true of any photos the artist didn't take himself, and he should remember that those images are copyrighted. So take your own pictures, or draw from life.

    Beautiful work, super impressive technique.

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  35. Incredible art indeed. I never get tired of looking at Silva's works. They are just so awesome. I came across some of his drawings before here: http://www.graphicfetish.com/samuel-silvas-photorealistic-ballpoint-pen-art/ and they still amaze me.

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  36. This is no different than if a person were to do a pointillism with a ballpoint, or make what some would consider a masterpiece of art with a mechanical pencil. (a teacher of mine said as much about the pencil and I proved her wrong many times). Ive seen others create such masterpieces with other seemingly 'impossible' mediums and still they looked as if they were a photo and such. There is no need to be jealous of this artist just because he did such an amazing job. If you look closely you can see the little flaws and the pen strokes. Its not hard...just about anyone can gain this strong of a talent with practice and dedication. (if you dont mind the sore hands and neck lol)

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  37. You know, if you all who dont believe that he could have possible created this himself, then why not ask him if you could get a piece from him and inspect it yourself???? Really, I think it would be worth it. I would do it not only to see how he did it but to be able to have such a beautiful work in my home.

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  38. I can see how he cross hatches his work. You have to get used to focusing on negative shapes to do this I'm sure. Looks legit to me. I draw in ballpoint all the time. Maybe Mr. Silva is just talented and sharing his work to inspire others to set the bar higher for themselves. I wouldn't be too quick to discount it as trickery or a falsehood on his part. I've seen people do it with pencils as well as ink. With enough practice photo-realism can be achieved in many mediums.

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  39. This there any Youtube vid live where Samuel actually does his art? Seeing it will settle all the doubt.......

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  40. who cares if it is real or not why cant you people just injoy the work for what it is and not how its made

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  41. hello guys
    there is another ballpoint pen artist from india famous as "Harimohan
    Bhatt", have a look at the amazing artwork at
    http://www.harimohandesignworld.com/work.php

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hello to all
    i must say at first i was very skeptical about the red hair girl image by mr Silva a ballpen artist myself i use gel pens as well as bic round stick both are ball ink delivery
    i use white gel pen for correction and for highlights so i consider myself a ball pen artist not ballpoint pen artist now that i think about it i believe the only problem here is in the usage of the words ballpoint pen art and ballpen art im not sure exactly what the difference is so to be safe and not mislead anyone intentionaly i call my work ball pen art all i would ask of Mr. Silva is to tell us what colors he does use It does not matter to me if he uses so called ballpoint pens or gel pens no matter what he does use you have to admit his art is exceptional.

    ReplyDelete

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