GULF SHORES, Ala. (WALA) - A Gulf Shores High School student is getting national recognition for her use of graphite and paper to create incredibly detailed portraits.
Lilliana Betz won two Gold Keys from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, which is the highest regional award possible in the competition. The Gulf Shores senior will be recognized at Carnegie Hall in New York City for her two winning pieces of work.
“I mean I don’t like attention drawn to me a whole lot, but it does feel good to have people appreciate it," Betz said.
Betz' visual arts teacher, Austin Boyd, who is an exceptional artist himself, will be taking the trip with Betz and her family. He's done well-recognized portraits of President Trump, former President Barack Obama and Clemson's Dabo Swinney, among many others.
“The first time I saw [Betz] do one of these pieces, when she showed it to me I was like, ‘wow is that a photograph?" Boyd said. "And my second thought was she actually drew this, this is almost insane.”
Betz says her work can take up to 36 hours, from picking out a photograph to drawing each and every detail; from strands of hair to wrinkles and freckles.
“I think time and patience and a lot of practice gets someone to this because my very first portrait was not a good one," Betz said, with a laugh.
Betz will find out if she is a national medalist in March. She is still deciding what she wants to do after graduating high school.