April 23, 2019

Teen Blog: An Exploration of Portraits


This series of work takes an intimate look at portraits by teens. Portraits have been created and recorded for generations upon generations. Whether they are painted, drawn, sculpted, photographed, or digitally created, portraits have been used to capture likeness, feelings, power, beauty, wealth, and more of their subjects.

Some portraits are detailed and composed, while others are conceived from a quick and accidental snapshot. However they are realized and whatever media is used, teens are constantly producing, editing, and exploring the nuances and the possibilities of the portrait.

Tate Schmergel

A portrait of a woman seating and staring into the camera. She is duplicated and superimposed over herself in different transparent colors.


This is a média mélangé project that I completed that plays with perception and the eye. I wanted to give a portrait more intensity through nearly flawing the original emotion, changing the tone for the viewer. I first created a three-dimensional effect and then from there, played with the layers and hues. The model is Sahara Hoff and this image was created in February, 2019.


Paul Brock

An illustration of a man in pinks and purples wearing glasses.


This is a self portrait done in Photoshop. I started to do a series of this style of portrait, and this allowed me to start taking commissions for my artwork. I saw friends drawing portraits of themselves digitally, and noticed that they were so flat. I wanted to create something with structure and rigidity. I did that through the excess of lines, and the change of colors in relation to the perception of light. It's widely regarded as my best piece of art by my peers and teachers.


Sofia Edgar

Digital collage against a lime green background. A womans face is cut out and superimposed against a black and white spiral pattern.


I've always been drawn to old, Hollywood-style portraits of people, I think there is something timeless about them. I am especially inspired by Andy Warhol in this sort of pop art concept. So when I make a digital piece, I like to incorporate old images with a mix of modern, more "in your face" kind of style, because to me, it really stands out. To me, this image means that you can't put anything in a box or a label because people will always take it how they see it.


Quincey Van Der Maas, morning

A black and white portrait of a woman in a tub filled with water wearing a black and white striped shirt. She is looking at a pearl ring or earring.


I was working on a project about emotion for my art class and I wanted to do something that really hit home. I chose heartbreak because I feel like with it comes so many emotions and I wanted to capture multiple in one picture. This photograph is titled morning which is meant to be a play on words. I’ll leave it to you to interpret.


Jude Wolf

A drawing of a person against a yellow blue and red background. The person is drawn in pencil and is greyscale.


This is a self portrait created with charcoal and pastel. The purpose of it was to channel how I have been looking for fulfillment since moving here, and I wanted to do that by using a raw expression and colors that were used to communicate starting from square one again. I also used distortion of light to show the ups and downs of life, and how there are often standards of how one should be.

There is this idea of eventually finding fulfillment…making life perfect. This piece started out as me looking for that fulfillment and ended with me realizing that the idea of a perfect life is fake. It made me realize that I have to slow down and realize that the fulfillment is what I’m living now. Life is about the little things that make up the whole. The whole process of doing this piece was extremely eye-opening for me. I feel much more self-aware and confident after accepting this concept as my reality.


Kaleigh Whitesides, teenage daydream

A portrait of a woman smirking outdoors at night lit by the yellow street lamps. She is surrounded by a yellow haze.


I took this photo by accident, but I didn’t want to give it a certain meaning because it means more than one thing. It has a certain element of beauty that can not be defined by just one meaning, and I want my audience to conceptualize it for themselves and make their own meaning.


Jivan West, Can't See

A photo collage of a person in red and white at a tennis course during the night. They are in different dynamic poses.


This collage is a part of series of photos that I made with two of my friends. We are all very creative so we frequently shoot random stuff together. For this shoot, I borrowed some strobes from a photographer who I intern with and we used the strobes as the only light source. For a location we chose an empty tennis court at night. We chose the tennis court to get more of a minimalist backdrop to the photos, which worked very nicely.

The farthest left photo was taken at the end of shoot. My friend who modeled was laying on the ground and I thought it would look great for the vibe of the shoot if she put her head down onto the court. The second and third images were taken at the beginning of the shoot and were meant to provide a sense of ambiguity as well as make the photos have a more disturbed feeling. The background photo was taken between shots and was not previously planned. I briefly looked over and thought backlighting would look very nice. I took a few photos backlit but ultimately chose this one as there is a very neutral look on the models face.

I put these images together to create somewhat of a lost feeling. Something vulnerable yet not hopeless. I think by placing these photos together in this collage I was able to do that.


Mollie McLean, drive

A young woman in a car leans her head to look out a car window. Only her face is lit.


You know that feeling you get when a sad song comes on when you’re driving and you look out the window and pretend like you’re in a music video? I think this photo captures that feeling.