ISABEL Black Garcia's expression of love for her younger brother has earned her a finalist's spot in the Young Archie competition.
The St Peter's Primary School Stockton year five student said being selected as one of 10 finalists in the competition's nine to 12 years old category was a complete surprise.
"I'm really, really happy - I did not expect it," Isabel, 10, said.
"My parents are very proud. We're going down to see it [hanging in the Art Gallery of NSW] in the school holidays. It will be so amazing to see something that I've drawn in an actual art gallery."
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Students were asked to make their portrait about someone special to them. Isabel said she couldn't go past her younger brother, Diego, 9.
"He's always there for me and he's really caring and everything," she said.
"The topic was of someone who we loved and everything, so I chose my brother because I really do love him and I know that he loves me too."
Isabel drew Diego's face using oil pastels, water pencils and crayons and his hair with oil pastels, before surrounding it with a collage of newspaper and magazine clippings.
"I chose to do lots of colour because he's a very colourful person, he's very happy," she said.
"I wanted it to stand out. I thought not many people would have done newspapers."
She used textas to draw his name, age and interests - turtles, burgers and the colour blue - on top of the collage.
"I was not that proud of it, I did not think it was that good, but he said 'Oh wow, good job'," she said.
"I don't think I'm going to win, but I'm happy for myself because I still made it into the finals - I could not be any happier."
Teacher Jane Boyd said the school held its own internal Young Archie competition and selected three winners, some honourable mentions and handed out a people's choice award.
It submitted works by the three winners and teacher's choice winner Isabel to the official competition.
"Even talking about it I get goosebumps," Ms Boyd said.
"There was just something about it. It was done with so much care and attention to detail, but it also reflected her brother as well.
"It reflected his personality and was just outstanding."
Isabel attends art classes outside of school and said she enjoys expressing herself through creativity.
"I like it and I like to get better at what I'm doing," she said.
"Say I drew an animal, I'll keep trying until I think it's really good.
"I also like that it's calming. It relaxes me when I draw.
"Say I'm really anxious or stressed - I draw and in the end it makes me feel better."
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