This artist created an award-winning drawing using the elements of art and principles of design
Lauren won a National Gold Medal in drawing in the 2012 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.
Lauren Trexler draws animals in a unique way. “My goal is to create something interesting to look at, not just a pretty picture,” says Lauren, 16. She drew the awardwinning bird above as a sophomore at Reagan High School in San Antonio, Texas.
When did you first get serious about art?
I’ve always liked doodling and drawing. In seventh grade, I took art and began taking drawing lessons after school.
What inspired this award-winning drawing?
It was a class assignment to draw an animal in charcoal utilizing cross-contouring, a technique where you use lines that are curved or angled to show an object’s form and movement. I’d been drawing a lot of birds and thought the technique would look visually interesting, especially in the wings.
How did you use line and value to create the texture on the bird’s body?
To create realistic feathers, I used long thin white and black lines. For the softer sections, I used shorter, thicker pencil strokes and smudged the color with my fingers. I used darker values to create shadows and depth on the bird and lighter values as a contrast to the dark.
How did you choose the pattern for the wings?
I found that adding a variety of thick, curved white lines gave the wings’ folds a 3-D effect and a sense of motion. Why did you choose this composition? I wanted to emphasize the bird’s eye in the center as the focal point. I wanted the bird to look directly at the viewer.
How did you create your drawing?
First, I sketched until I was satisfied with the composition and proportions. I lightly drew an outline of the bird with white charcoal pencil. I used black charcoal pencil to draw in and shade the darker values and a kneaded eraser to create lighter areas. I used white charcoal pencil for the crosscontour lines in the wings and textures of the feathers.
Do you have advice for aspiring artists like yourself?
Don’t be afraid to work with different media or to draw an unfamiliar subject. Take risks and stretch yourself.