Featured Artist: Danielle Leizman

Gabrielle Urso

One of Danielle Leizman's graphite drawings.
Photo Courtesy of Danielle Leizman
One of Danielle Leizman’s graphite drawings.

Danielle Leizman, a senior, has been an avid art enthusiast for a large portion of her life and is widely recognized here at the school for her outstanding drawings. Although Leizman states that she “has always been interested in art,” her passion truly began to take shape during her sophomore year.

Most of all, Leizman enjoys any kind of project involving portraits and manages to incorporate both aspects of surrealism and those of realism in her work. The vast majority of inspiration she gains for her pieces comes from people in real life, and also portraits she views online.

In a general sense, her favorite media to use in her work is graphite. What she enjoys most about creating art is being able to see the finished piece; the final product of hard work.

Leizman has taken numerous art classes here at Urbana, including Drawing and Painting 1, 2, 3, AP art history, and AP studio art. However, her interest in the subject does not end there. In addition to taking several classes focusing on visual arts, Leizman also enjoys the area of musical theatre, and has taken a number of choir classes as well.

All three Drawing and Painting courses taken by Leizman have been taught by her idol and art teacher at the school for six years, Amy Willett. Leizman said that “Willett was one main role model who got [her] interested in art” at the school.

Throughout the years Willet has watched her grow and bloom as an artist and has witnessed firsthand the development and evolution of her individual style. Willett said that throughout the first Drawing and Painting class, Leizman’s style centered more on whimsical, fairytale-looking subjects and scenarios. Amidst the following course, her style began to shift more towards realism, including more lifelike attributes in her pieces.

Upon teaching the segment of the class dealing mainly with drawing the composition of the human face, Willett said Leizman thoroughly enjoyed the idea and “really got into creating portraits.”

Willett said “[Leizman had] taken the concept of portraits and gone in her own direction.” In her final class of Drawing and Painting this semester, Leizman has succeeded in integrating parts of her former, more whimsical style into portraits that are drawn in a contrastingly realistic approach.

In the years following high school graduation, she plans on attending college, though still remains indecisive as to which one. There, Leizman aims to study art education, hoping to one day teach art.

As she reaches the end of her time here at Urbana, Leizman hopes to continue her career in art in the future.