TODAY   |  August 20, 2013

Pint-size Picassos compete for prize

Speed painter Rob Surette shows off a beautiful painting of TODAY guest co-host Mel B and assesses the artwork of three young painters competing to be named TODAY’s Quest for the Best winner.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> this morning on today's quest for the best, we sought out the most talented pint-sized picassos.

>> you sent in photos of your child's masterpieces and three finalists are here to compete for today's best.

>> they are hannah walton from alexander city , alabama and josh. one of the fastest portrait painters in the world is here to judge the contest. good morning to you.

>> thanks for having me.

>> you're going to demo with us first what you do with the speed painting .

>> take it away.

>> here we go.

>> get fancy.

>> that was fast.

>> it's me.

>> we're just going to do the finishing touches.

>> how long did it take you to do the official portrait?

>> 45 minutes.

>> wow, that's amazing.

>> do i really look like that.

>> yeah.

>> i love it.

>> look at you.

>> 45 minutes.

>> crazy.

>> are you highlighting there.

>> yeah.

>> i don't see any grey.

>> they're highlights.

>> okay.

>> i love that.

>> all right. well, you can perfect it later on but let's get to our young talent here. first let's start off with hannah . hannah , is it true your mom thought you were tracing when she first discovered your talent.

>> yes, ma'am.

>> yeah.

>> it was very shocking because, you know, a lot of moms don't realize what the children think, if they're tracing or drawing.

>> yeah. let's see what you have done. you put beads on your painting. what made you think to do that?

>> well, i was painting one day and i just thought of a really cool idea to do beads.

>> i like it. very creative.

>> what do you think.

>> i can tell without even knowing her that she loves color. i reflects her personality. she has a bright personality. i think she is full of sunshine and optimistic. can't you see that.

>> that says a lot about the kind of artist she is.

>> let's move over here to josh and josh, you entered our contest with this sketches. this looks like a photo.

>> wow, that's really impressive.

>> that's amazing. when did you get started?

>> i started when i was 8 years old, in second grade and i just -- i picked -- i had nothing else to do so i just picked up a pencil and paper and started drawing.

>> and is this you as a baby?

>> no, i copied off of a picture and it just kind of --

>> that's amazing. they do look like photographs. they're gorgeous. all right. good job. we'll let rob judge at the end. and over here really cool pictures but you have everything from oil paintings, looks like water colors and drawing. is there one you prefer to do over the other?

>> i like doing graphite and water color .

>> is this michael phelps right here.

>> i'm not sure.

>> kind of looks like him.

>> that's great.

>> and does it take you a lot of time to do one of these pictures.

>> yeah, usually takes me about a month.

>> a month. wow, you spend a lot of time. rob, you have taken a look. we didn't get a chance to talk about their art.

>> his are beautiful. josh is a serious artist. i can tell just like he has great power inside him. magnificent and then arian, it's not about the competition because you're all fabulous artists. congratulations for being here. the winner is arian because her art work takes me to another place. i feel like i'm under water looking at this. it's just all of you are spectacular. you all have your own gifts and you shine so bright but if i was to choose a winner and it's so hard because i don't like competition for art work but this brings me to another place.

>> you get appropriately a supply of art supplies here. so for you. but everybody gets one of these special pictures that rob you drew just for them. so great job guys. congratulations.

>> well done.

>> and by the way, we should tell you that we are launching our next quest for the best. we're looking for the best trained pet in america. be sure to enter a submission on a video submission. we're back in a moment. this is "today" on nbc.

>>> oh my gosh, surprise.

>> thank you.

>> thank you.

>> this is a present right