Marian student wows with detailed pencil portraits

Caroline Drew

Patrice Roubidoux is hunched over a sprawling sheet of white paper, defining her subject’s cheekbones with fluent precision. People, like the one taking shape before her now, are Roubidoux’s favorite thing to draw. Since she first decided to become an artist in fourth grade, Roubidoux has been toiling over drawings of real and imaginary people in countless sketchbooks. “In fifth grade, I got my first sketchbook,”  Roubidoux said, “and I just went absolutely crazy with it. I filled that thing up in two weeks.”

In art, Roubidoux finally found something that she was passionate about. “I had finally found something that was so exciting and something so new and something where I was able to express myself in a way I wasn’t able to before,” Roubidoux said. That capability for self-expression that hooked her on art keeps Roubidoux creating to this day. “It’s cliché,” she admitted, “but I really like being able to express myself through it.”

Through years of practice and experimentation, Roubidoux has cultivated a style she refers to as semi-realistic. “It’s not hyperrealism,” referring to the genre of painting and drawing that aims to resemble a high-definition photograph, “but it’s definitely pointing towards that direction.” Her style, however, is far from static. She is influenced by a myriad of artistic styles: from classic portraits to modern caricature.

“I draw a lot of inspiration from Renaissance artists,” she said, “like Da Vinci and Botticelli.” These artists are well known for their life-like figures and exquisite attention to detail. “I [also] look at a lot of people on Instagram who have really crazy and fun styles and see what I like about it,” Roubidoux said, “and then I’m I’d like to emulate that in my art.”

As a current junior, Roubidoux is gearing up for her portrait project in Mrs. Ashley Bauer’s Art III class. Outside of school, she is creating pins and t-shirts that display her art as a mentee with the Kent Bellows Mentorship Program. The program, which is organized by the Joslyn Art Museum, pairs high school artists with adult mentors, who are local artists in the area. Roubidoux has been a part of the program for three semesters and said she loves the fellow artists she’s had the opportunity to meet. “Everyone here is just amazing,” she said. “It’s such an awesome environment to be a part of.”

As if her stunning visual artistic skills weren’t enough, Roubidoux also graces the Marian community with her lovely voice in the upcoming production “The Sound of Music.” She participated in last year’s musical, “Gone the Rainbow, Return the Dove,” as well. Her art can often be found in the art display cases or in temporary displays in the Quad. To catch a glimpse of her latest pieces, swing by the Kent Bellows Mentorship Program studio on 33rd and Leavenworth on Nov. 30 for the student art show.

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