What category did this 2010 Scholastic Award winner win for? If you’re thinking Photography, think again. Guest blogger and 2010 Gold Medalist Peter Bertucci’s drawings may look photographic, but there’s more to them than meets the eye.

Peter Bertucci."Reflective Moments." 2009 American Visions Medal, Drawing. (Charcoal, 24" x 30").

Peter Bertucci: I started creating art when I was six years old and have continued my artistic pursuit for the past 11 years. For me, art is a way to express my thoughts to the outside world. With each drawing or painting I create, I try to grab the viewer’s attention so they’ll spend time with each piece.

I work with a variety of different media – mostly graphite, charcoal, soft pastel and oil paint. For each piece that I construct, I always sketch out new ideas and different compositions. I do this before I start my projects to compare different ideas and concepts and try to make each piece better than before. I’ve also continued the theme each year of depicting different people and age groups in their everyday environments.

What’s really helpful when applying to the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is to have good time management during the course of each year. I was first introduced to the program in 2008 during my freshman year of high school. I created a self-portrait in graphite. Since then I have learned more about the time and preparation that needs to go into each piece I create. It’s a long process each year, especially this one, my senior and final year competing in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

Peter Bertucci."Self Portrait." 2008 Gold Medal, Drawing. (Graphite, 22" x 30").

My inspiration for my Award-winning work comes not only from my family, but my art teachers as well. I’m also inspired by previous projects I have completed. Whether it’s from composition or the use of a different medium, my inspiration influences me to try new techniques and apply them to my art. When I get stuck or run into a problem with my artwork, I know I can always turn to my brother Jim for advice and guidance. Jim is a four-time national winner of the Scholastic Art Awards and always manages to guide me in the right direction. Feedback from him encourages me to take my work to a higher level each time.

Peter Bertucci."Focused Strength." 2010 Gold Medal, Drawing. (Soft Pastel, 20" x 25").

I encourage other artists and writers to enter. As an artist, competing in this program has been a great experience. I have developed new techniques and have become more creative with my artwork. It also helped me demonstrate to schools that I have been recognized for my art on the regional and national level during my high school career.

Peter Bertucci."North Woods." 2010 Silver Medal, Drawing. (Soft Pastels, 24" x 30").

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