YouTube may not be a classic source of inspiration for young artists, but it was for Lily Webster.
Watching videos of artists creating “speed drawings”, she decided to challenge herself to learn the skills, and this year the year 8 student from Clancy Catholic College, West Hoxton, won the 2020 Staedtler Secondary Art Competition.
Creating artworks – specifically portraits – since she was 8, Lily took out this year’s competition in the “People’s Choice Component”, open to students in grades 7-12.
Founded in 1835, the German company is a household name for its production of pencils and art supplies.
“I saw an advertisement for the Staedtler competition on social media,” said Lily.
“I was interested in this competition because it allowed me to practice portraiture and the competition was easy to enter.”
Lily’s passion for portraiture and her favourite method of drawing pushed her to enter the competition with a stunning and expressive drawn portrait of a man.
“With portraits, I enjoy capturing the person’s personality and overall story. I aim to do this through the colours I use which express and evoke particular emotion,” she said.
“For example, in my drawing ‘contemplation’ my aim was to bring out the subject’s eyes through bright greens and blue colours.
“Drawing is my favourite medium however I do often incorporate other media such as watercolours, acrylics and oil pastels in the background of my drawings.”
While she has taken some art classes, it’s Lily’s raw talent and enthusiasm for art and art history that drives her work.
“I have attended a few craft lessons when I was younger, however I mainly learned to draw from YouTube videos, as well as lots of practice,” she said.
“I enjoy the works of Vincent Van Gogh. I like the way he incorporates texture into his works and the warm colours he uses.
“I am interested in the harsh long brush strokes that he uses in his work to express his emotions.”
Voting for the competition was open to anyone over the age of 13 for the artwork they found to be the “most original and creative”.
As the winner of the competition, Lily will receive a $1,000 prepaid Visa gift card to buy whatever she wants – probably a lot of new art equipment.