Abu Dhabi pupil scoops top prize in international art competition

Jyoti Sharma, 13, saw off tough competition from 600 pupils from 99 schools around the world

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An Abu Dhabi pupil landed the top prize in an international school art competition after drawing inspiration from her love of nature.

Jyoti Sharma, 13, triumphed over 600 pupils from 99 schools around the world as part of the Council of British International Schools' annual art competition.

Pupils were invited to produce a piece of art based on the theme "Connections".

Jyoti spent six days perfecting a drawing in coloured pencils of a young girl surrounded by wildlife. She named the drawing We are all One.

When I draw it takes me to another place. I just plug in my earphones, listen to music and get to work

“I have been drawing ever since I could hold a pencil,” she said.

"When I draw it takes me to another place. I just plug in my earphones, listen to music and get to work.

“It brings me a lot of calm and peace and I can spend hours on the smallest details.

“For this piece I spent about a week on it, about three hours a day," Jyoti said.

“First I drew the details border and spent a lot of time blurring and blending the colours to make it as vibrant as possible.”

No stranger to art competitions, Jyoti, from India, was crowned the winner of a UAE national award last year for a drawing she produced of the Emirates in all its glory.

That picture showed the UAE as an island on the red, green, white and black national flag, surrounded by items synonymous with the Emirates. These included dates, camels and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

While Jyoti has always loved art, the Brighton College Abu Dhabi pupil said she is "her own worst critic" and never fully satisfied with a final piece.

Jyoti Sharma's prize-winning drawing 'We are all One' celebrates her love of nature. Courtesy: Jyoti Sharma

“I think the older I get, the more appreciative I am of what I draw, but I always strive to do better,” she said.

“When I saw the email earlier this week saying I had won the competition, I yelled out to my mum in excitement.

“I was in total shock because I know so many great artworks were submitted from across the world.”

As the winner for the Key Stage 3 entries, the teenager was given a certificate that has pride of place at home, plus a voucher to spend on art supplies.

Her picture, which judges said displayed "super use of colour, lots of attention to detail and a great concept" is posted on the Cobis website and social media pages.

The competition was open to pupils at all Cobis schools.