Bring your artwork to a full completion
The quintessential problem in artwork by high school students is not bringing a piece of a full finish. Many portfolio pieces by high school students are only about 50% finished, and have big problems like glaringly empty backgrounds and a lack of refinement and detail.
For more in depth information on this topic, read Prof Lieu’s blog post here.
This drawing on the right has lovely details in the individual objects. However, the composition and the background of the drawing has not been considered. Composition refers to the placement of each subject on the page, and is a fundamental element of creating an artwork. The background is totally blank, causing the drawing to look unfinished.
Sometimes the difference really is one extra hour working on the artwork to fill in those gaps. Other concerns, like a lack of a background are more fundamental and need to be addressed much earlier in the process of the artwork.