Creative Outlets

Creative Outlets: Rockwell-Inspired Sketches by Hannah Brown

Hannah Brown, 16, lives in Wisconsin, and is currently in Art Studio 2 with Mr. Adair.

In the beginning of the year, Mr. Adair asked the class to pick the artist hero that they aspired to mimic in both mood and style. Hannah chose Norman Rockwell.

“Every picture of his tells a story – the story is up to you and you decipher it how you want,” Hannah says of her art hero. She admires the depth, color and expression found within Rockwell’s artwork.

“His artwork is realistic and relatable,” she says.

Hannah, when working on her own pieces, is always looking to fix the small details, as Rockwell is incredibly detail oriented. Further, she takes a step back and may leave it for a day or two and see what subtle things she may need to fix to make it more like Norman Rockwell.

Below is a gallery of her recent completions.




This portrait is of her older brother, Daniel. Daniel is now 18, however, at the time was 16. Underneath the portrait is the quote, “Only those who see the invisible can do the impossible.” One day, outside listening to her father read their history text while sketching the portrait, her father read the above quote. In that moment, Hannah decided that it related to Daniel, as Daniel is a visionary/analytical type of person.




Hannah just finished this sketch entitled, “Linguini and Remy,” a few weeks ago – her instructor began lessons on ovals, circles and animations. The assignment was to pick a Disney character, and draw it with value and shading attempting to be as close to the original as possible. Ratatouille is a family favorite – they all value the color and realism.

This ice-cream, with the quote, “You can’t buy happiness… but you can buy ice cream, and that’s pretty much the same thing,” was completed this summer. It was Hannah’s first time experimenting with cross-hatching. While displaying Hannah’s portfolio to her grandmother, her brother, David, suddenly turned to her and said, “This is in dad’s office for his clients to see!” Hannah turned to her father asking him to please take it down, and he responded with a warm grin on his face, “It is a father’s prerogative to be proud of his children, so I am not taking it down.”


This portrait was mimicked from the book, “Life-like portraits with Lee Hammond.” Hannah wanted to practice drawing more realistic portraits.
“Before I began art classes, I didn’t like doing portraits because I knew I wasn’t going to get it right, so I got the book so that I could learn to draw people and not have them turn out like a potato,” she says. This gentleman, took less than a week to complete, following step-by -step with the book. It turned out as one of her best portraits completed thus far.
This sketch of a rose was completed at the same time as the ice cream, including the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote, “The Earth laughs in Flowers.” This was her first attempt at a rose.
“A rose is a signature touch that all artists should accomplish,” Hannah states.
And finally, a self-portrait, drawn from a reference photo in August. This was Hannah’s first ever self-portrait – initially, she wasn’t too serious about it, however, as she spent more time on it, its resemblance was much better than she originally anticipated. “When I draw teeth, they tend to look moldy or dirty, so I made sure I did the portrait without, with closed lips,” she humorously notes of her self-portrait.
Stay tuned for more artwork from Hannah as we will be checking in with her and viewing her progression towards her artist hero, Norman Rockwell, quarterly.

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