Artist of the Week: Anderson Henriquez


Artist of the Week: Anderson Henriquez

October 18, 2023

Anderson Henriquez started drawing when he was 4. Now, as a 13 year old eighth-grade art student at Warwick Valley Middle School, he has turned his love for creating and drawing into the passion of a life-long learner.

Anderson was born in El Salvador and lived there until he was 6. There, he would gather colored rocks from a nearby river and draw on the concrete walls of his home.

“I started drawing when I was a little kid,” he said. “Since I wasn’t born here we really didn’t have paper to draw on, so I would go into rivers, and get colored rocks and draw on a wall. It would rain a lot, so it would just wipe off, and I would just keep drawing.”

Anderson displays Creator/Innovator and Life-long Learner qualities of the Warwick Valley Central School District’s Portrait of a Graduate. Creators and Innovators utilize their imagination and evidence-based knowledge. They also share their ideas and feelings through the arts, design and building processes. Life-long Learners are dedicated to understanding themselves and their world more and more over time. They can be professionals dedicated to their research, artists committed to expression, or anyone who has made self-directed learning an essential part of their personal growth.

Anderson is committed to drawing with pencils and pens and often spends his evenings and even late nights at home in his room, at his drawing table with a tablet. He prefers using pencil over pen for his drawings, because pencils provide the freedom for him to make a mistake and erase. “And, they are more comfortable and easier to control,” he said. Once the pencil drawing is complete, he often draws over it with a pen.

“Anderson is a dedicated artist who plans to use art in his career one day,” said Middle School Art Teacher Leah Mednick. “He is a life-long learner of his craft and takes great pride in what he does. Anderson is always drawing and developing his artistic abilities. He hopes to go to art school and become a tattoo artist. He is a hard worker and I cannot wait to see the amazing things he does with his creativity.”

Today, Anderson likes to draw for his friends, actively asking them for ideas they would like to see and then giving them his work when he is done.

Ms. Mednick said Anderson has unique observational skills for an artist studying his subject and then drawing it. His drawings reflect those skills with incredible attention to detail, she said.

“All I need is a picture as a reference, and I can draw it,” he said. “The most time I typically spend on a drawing is an hour or two.”

When he began drawing, however, his work was a lot simpler. “I didn’t really know what to draw, so I usually would draw a stick man,” he said.

He’s learned a lot about the craft on his own through drawing anime characters, including the Dragon Ball Z characters in the Japanese anime series that he found on the web.

“It had an impact on my drawing,” he said. “That was how I started drawing characters. At first they were really bad. But, over time I started getting good at drawing the faces, the bodies, and then the hands.”

“I kept drawing because I didn’t really have technology, so I wasn’t as focused with being online as much as I am now,” he said. “But, I had a lot of free time, and that’s how I got really good, was through practice. Now, I’m still trying to get better because there are still pencil artists who are way better and more experienced than me.”


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