Behind the scenes of an artist

Sarah Westerhaus has left her mark on the art department



Esreal Delgado, Business Manager

It happened during an art show, a stranger came up to her with this look of astonishment. He told her to continue drawing portraits because she was really good at them. From that moment on, she remembered his words.

The encouragement of that stranger inspired Sarah Westerhaus, junior, to continue drawing hyper realistic art. Westerhaus is in Drawing 3-4 and works under art teacher Dena Davis’ guidance.

Q: What’s your favorite artwork?

A: Last year we did this minute work project and I did a race car and a race car driver in color pencil. It was just really burnished and, I don’t know, I thought it was really cool.

Q: What environment do you prefer to draw in?

A: I mainly like to draw at home when it’s quiet and I can listen to some music at my table, but it doesn’t really matter where it is.

Q: What methods are integral for you to use while drawing?

A: For me specifically, I would say going in and doing one little thing at a time and not exactly working on it as a whole. If I was drawing a hand, I’d work first on the specific shadows and then start drawing the fingernails. For everybody, it would take patience, especially for me. It’d take a lot of patience and dedication. You can’t just get bored with it and quit or else it doesn’t turn out as good as you want it to be.

Q: What’s your history with drawing? When did you realize you were good and you liked doing this?

A: I’ve always doodled and what not. I did an art class in elementary and I always liked coloring but, I started getting good in second semester of freshman year. There was this specific project that we did, it was an animal project, and I did this bobcat in color pencil. That’s when I first started doing amazing in color pencil.

Q: How has your drawing changed over time?

A: When I was a freshman, we had an option to do a lot of reference pictures so that’s all I would do was take a picture offline that I thought was really cool. Now in Drawing 3-4, I would come up with my own ideas and now I’m starting to blend more reference pictures with my ideas. It’s just more of a creative process. I didn’t have that many ideas in freshman year so now I can express myself through my art.

Q: What do you dislike about your artwork?

A: That it takes forever to do because usually it take me like eighty hours to do a project. I’m such a perfectionist, every single detail matters. It kind of bugs me.

Q: Who/What influences your art?

A: I would say actually Mrs. Davis because she has these amazing ideas she gives me sometimes. She helps me with contours. She does projects of her own and gives me plenty of ideas. She’s pretty inspiring, have you ever met her?

Sarah Westerhaus, junior, is an artist known for drawing realistic portraits.
Esreal Delgado
Sarah Westerhaus, junior, is an artist known for drawing realistic portraits.

Q: Is the artistic life lonely?

A: It is kind of lonely because say I’m working on my art project and I’m talking about and what I’m thinking about while I’m doing it with my mom. She doesn’t really understand. She just thinks it’s a pretty picture ya know, but with other artists, they understand kind of.

Usually, it’s just you and your own little world drawing what you have thought about or how you’re trying to express yourself and it usually doesn’t come out how you want it to so you can’t really express that.

Q: What do you do to counteract that loneliness?

A: It’s kind of lonely, but with more artists it’s not as lonely, but it don’t know a lot of artists. Get into the art life and talk to more people who have different art styles. Then discuss art and discuss your own art.

Q: What colleges are you considering to attend, and would you major in the art field?

A: I was mainly going for, and I’m not sure about my undergraduate, but somewhere in California hopefully so that I can go to UCDavis. For my graduate degree, they accept more people from California than they do for Arizona, so I hope I can get it. I’d major in veterinary sciences and minor in art history.