The Grade 2 learner is giving Picasso a run for his money.
Eight-year-old Gabriella Chetty from Newlands East, Durban, has stunned the internet with her intricate freehand painting of a butterfly in the shape of Africa.
This after local comedian Cyril Basker (31) posted the amazing artwork, which he’d asked Gabriella to draw for him, on his Facebook page.
“She is only 8 years old, in Grade 2 and she freehands her painting by just looking at a picture. When I was 8 years in Grade 2, I was eating sand,” Cyril captioned his post on Facebook.
Gabriella’s mom, Talia (29), is overwhelmed by the responses her daughter’s art has received.
“I was mind-blown,” she says. “I found it heartwarming, especially for Gabriella because she’s very shy and didn’t believe in herself.
“The more I told her she was good, the more she said she was just doing art because she loved it. It’s so nice now that people have acknowledged her.”
Cyril came across the talented youngster while visiting the hotel where her mom works as a financial manager.
Gabriella was there on the day and he asked if she would create a special painting for him.
“And she said, ‘Go on online and choose a picture.’ And then he saw the butterfly of Africa and she said she’d do that one for them,” Talia explains.
When Cyril saw the painting, he couldn’t believe his eyes.
“He was completely blown away,” Talia says.
She discovered her daughter’s talent for painting and drawing after her Grade R teacher mentioned how good she was at colouring in.
“So I had to buy a lot of books for her to colour in,” she says.
Talia then decided to send Gabriella for private art lessons to help perfect her technique.
“Ever since then, Gabi has just been excelling. The art teacher said she’s very advanced for her age and she should start selling her paintings.”
Gabriella paints anything but particularly enjoys creating scenes of the outdoors and animals.
“I like to paint stuff for people,” the little girl said shyly. “It’s calming for me and it’s nice to do something that keeps me busy.”
Besides painting, Gabriella also enjoys playing the recorder with her mom, who is a music teacher at their church.
“She also likes to be active, to go out to the park or beach. A lot of people say she has a smile that makes your day,” the proud mom tells us.
Gabriella hopes to be an animation artist for Disney one day – but she has one concern.
“My mom said I would have to go overseas and then I started crying,” she admits.
“She told me to move with her,” Talia adds.