We are absolutely thrilled and delighted to announce this years winner and runner up of our London Art College 2019 art competition. The winner is Claire D’Arcy and the runner up is Olga Polianska. We have added both pieces of artwork below along with some text written by each student. We are so pleased for both students and we hope that our viewers enjoy reading about their artwork in more detail. You can find all of the entries and runner up on our website too – Competition Page.

Winner – Claire D’Arcy

I am both shocked, and very honoured to have won the student art competition 2019! Particularly in a year when I had browsed the entries and thought they were of such a high standard that the possibility that I could win, had never been further from my mind. The level of talent and skill amongst the entrants is, whilst a little intimidating, also very motivating and has made me want to study more of the courses on offer.

Winner – Claire D’Arcy

The winning piece was my second submission on the Illustrating Children’s Books Diploma, called ‘Sebastian’s Sink City’, about a boy who finds another world beneath his kitchen sink. The piece is mostly digital, drawn in Photoshop with a brush on a dissolve setting with a slight blur to give textured lines somewhat similar to pencil. It was drawn freehand using a Wacom tablet on a Mac. Most of my work combines more traditional techniques (ink, watercolour and pencil) with digital. In this piece there is extra textural depth added using a paper texture on a base layer with colours overlaid with layer effects, and also use of softer air brushed elements for lighting glows and clouds. I used a 50’s inspired colour palette (which I keep to the edge of my piece as I’m drawing so that I can sample it, and not stray too far from it) and decided to carry this 50’s theme through into the logo designs on the products.

Detail – Claire D’Arcy

The course is definitely pushing my comfort zone and encouraging me to try varying techniques but this particular piece did play to my passions by asking for high detail with a cartoony edge. It also allowed me to work from a fairly pushed perspective which is another quality that I find myself returning to a lot. 

Detail – Claire D’Arcy

Its difficult to say how long the piece took as I was probably working on it for a month, but had it been 8 hour days I’d guess about a week or so. Most people will empathise when I say, I’m not usually very satisfied with my pieces! But with this one I actually was pretty happy with the finished image and there are definitely elements of this that I would like to revisit and explore further. It wont surprise anyone to hear that I am from a digital background, working as a creative retoucher in advertising (largely doing comp work, combining different photographic elements such as packs or cars in a single scene) although I do regularly practice life drawing and try and keep pen/pencil on paper practice in.

The course has been extremely good for streamlining focus and providing goal motivation, giving both constructive and speedy feedback whilst not feeling too overwhelming, not to mention total indulgence in creating for children, where you are challenged to push your imagination to meet theirs. I am juggling the course with working freelance and parenting 2 young children so this win has come at a good time to encourage some refocussing on the current brief that I’m wrestling with, ‘The Cow Who Went Looking For a Friend’.

Runner up – Olga Polianska

Runner up – Olga Polianska

«Metropolis Touch» 

I believe that every person is belong to some place – the place¸ where it can feel the harmony of it’s soul, the inspiration and ability to share it with others. The piece «Metropolis Touch» inspired by this feeling. This girl  belongs to the metropolis, its bright lights, the fleetingness of time, which reflects her inner world.

I tried to convey this by the light blurry features that symbolise the rapid rhythm of the city and the human ability to flow into it. I use oil on canvas, the pallet knife and a brush for this painting. I am incredibly happy to be a part of the creative team of our college students and to take part in it’s artistic life. I wish inspiration to everyone!

Olga Polianska

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