01/23/2019
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By: Erin Smith

WestEarldrawingTeachers are accustomed to receiving gifts at the end of the school year such as books, cards or even a note thanking them for their efforts. For Cheryl West, her end of the year surprise was one that took much time and displays a wealth of talent.

East Bladen High School’s Bradley Earl presented West with a drawing of her on Tuesday afternoon. It was a drawing he had taken his time and worked on diligently for several weeks.  Earl used a photograph of West taken by his Art Teacher Mr. Warren.

Earl said that he got the idea when Mr. Warren assigned the art class a project that involved drawing a portrait.

“He gave me an idea about doing a teacher,” said Earl.

He said after thinking it over, he made a decision to draw West, who is his homeroom teacher.  She said that during the 20 minutes allotted to students for homeroom, she and Earl talk about his classes, his academic performance, and his goals.

Earl said that once he decided who to draw, Mr. Warren took some photos of West. Earl said he looked at the photos that Mr. Warren printed out and chose which photo he wanted to draw.

First he made a grid drawing before creating his final drawing on paper. The final drawing was done using a No. 2 pencil and a graphite drawing pencil. The drawing captures a remarkable likeness of West.

Earl said he has always loved to draw and has been taking art classes since he was in middle school. Earl said he enjoys drawing characters from movies but he most enjoys creating his own animals and characters.

“Ever since I’ve started taking art classes I’ve been improving,” said Earl of his talent.

He said he would like to some day work for Disney Studios or a similar company. When asked about college plans, Earl said he is considering applying to the Art Institute.

West said that she was very honored when Earl asked if she would be willing to participate in the project.

“I told him it would be an honor,” said West.

She said that once Earl began his project, he wanted to take his time with it. West said Earl gave her updates on the project and kept telling her he wasn’t ready for her to see it just yet.

“I kept telling him you can’t rush perfection,” said West.

She said it was on Tuesday afternoon that Earl approached her and brought the completed drawing to her.

“I was speechless. It is probably the most beautiful thing anyone has done for me,” said West.

She said she encouraged Earl to take the drawing and show it to his mother, Debbie Earl. West said Mrs. Earl was also very impressed with Bradley’s work.

“I’m going to hang it in my room so I can see it everyday to remind myself of having you as a student,” said West to Earl. “He has been a true blessing.”

In addition to his portrait of West, Earl has also drawn characters such as Predator and he also enjoys drawing dinosaurs.

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