student portraits

Student Portaits

Sarah Grace Holcomb

Oil on Canvas


Utilizing direct observation, these alla prima oil paintings are completed anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. These small portraits are part of an ongoing series that documents students at a Brooklyn public high school. Teaching in the high school atmosphere can be hectic, but in this moment, as the student poses, there is a quietness and stillness that is treasured and portrayed.


The opportunity to paint alongside my students is an experience that is beneficial to both the young artists as well as myself as an artist-teacher. This pedagogical practice is an important part of the learning process for the students to see an artist at work. Painting or working in this way is validating for the students. The class sees that the teacher is using the same process and encounters the same struggles to create a painting in the model’s likeness.


I find this approach to teaching an important concept that influences my studio practice.


Each painting measures approximately 9"x12".