World Cup fans and art aficionados alike are getting a kick out of this: A Shaghai-based artist has created portraits of star players, using a soccer ball as her only painting utensil.

Armed with eight trays of paint and a large-scale canvas, ‘Red’ Hong Yi produced colorful renderings of Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Brazil’s Neymar and Argentina’s Lionel Messi.

Ms Yi posted a time-lapse video to YouTube June 10, which shows the artist deftly gliding the ball across the impressive piece and sheds light on her process: She first uses yellow pigment to outline the three players, before filling in their facial features and brightly hued jerseys.

‘I think my painting skills are OK, but my soccer skills are questionable as you can see from the video, haha!’ she modestly wrote on her Facebook page June 10.

On her website, Ms Yi aptly describes herself as the artist who ‘loves to paint, but not with a paintbrush.’

In April, she celebrated the 60th birthday of actor and martial arts legend Jackie Chan by constructing his portrait out of 64,000 chopsticks – the accompanying video has earned more than 1.4 million videos to date.

Other projects have involved creating images of flamingos and various exotic birds using flower petals for feathers, and producing portraits using coffee stains as a medium.

But this isn’t her first work rendered with a utensil likely purchased at a sporting good store.

In 2012, she painted basketball star Yao Ming using – you guessed it – a basketball.

Last year, Ms Yi told ‘I like working with texture and materials, so I’d say I’m very happy working on what I do now – art pieces using ordinary, everyday objects.’

She added that Picasso is the artist who’s influenced her most.

‘He has a famous quote…”all children are artists. the problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” This has influenced me to see joy and fun in ordinary, everyday items that I come across, and to paint and create objects as I feel and imagine them, not just as I see them.’


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