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Can you believe this isn't a photograph? Irish schoolgirl described as an amazing new Irish talent. Photo by: Texaco Art Competition

Incredible pencil drawing by 16-year old Irish girl wins award

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Can you believe this isn't a photograph? Irish schoolgirl described as an amazing new Irish talent. Photo by: Texaco Art Competition

Shania McDonagh, (16), has become an overnight sensation in Ireland, where her pencil drawing of an old man has won the Texaco Children’s Art Competition. She is a schoolgirl in Claremorris, County Mayo.

She has won first prize in her age group for many years, but her portrait of “Coleman” has the critics raving.

It is almost impossible to distinguish the drawing from a photograph, so finely is it created, and she appears to have a huge career ahead as a portrait artist. She drew it from a photograph in a book called “Vanishing Ireland.”

Judging panel chairman Prof Declan McGonagle, director of the National College of Art & Design, told the Irish Times her work has established her “as one of the most talented artists of her generation, and one whose skill could see her become one of Ireland’s foremost portrait artists of the future.”

A major international career is being predicted for the young girl.

She said it took her only a month to draw it and she will be presented with her $2,000 first-prize next month.

"Coleman" by Shaina McDonagh.

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