Workshop 1 – 2020

Lesson 1 Questions

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  • #10352
    Justin
    Member

    Hi Everyone!

    Thanks for participating in video lesson 1

    Please post all questions related to this particular video lesson within this discussion group so I don’t miss anything.

    Hope you enjoy learning with me!

    Justin

    web: http://www.justinmaas.com
    IG: http://www.instagram.com/maas.art/
    More Tutorials: http://www.patreon.com/maasart

    #10364
    Justin
    Member

    Link to the videos:

    2020 Workshop 1 Videos

    #10394
    Magdalena B
    Member

    Hello Justin. I don’t know what has just happened. I asked a question and it disappeared somewhere in the virtual reality… I just wanted to ask you if you thought it’s better to start off by drawing from photos or from real life. Thank you!

    #10395
    Justin
    Member

    Oh those pesky interweeb ghosts are at it again :) Im glad you re-posted the question then!

    So each (life and photo) has its advantages, although i would say that “from life” is preferable in almost every case, its not always practical. Drawing from life can also be a little daunting for beginners.

    Ideally i would say to try to draw from life as much as you can – even if thats just an hour or two a week – to offset the potential problems with working from photos. You will find that if you do draw from life you will also start to “see” more information in your photos as you can make guesstimates on form and value because you’re more familiar with subjects than just the basic info you find in the photograph.

    #10396
    Magdalena B
    Member

    Thank you so much for the detailed and extremely informative answer. Actually, I prefer drawing from life, and now it’s easier to force my family members to sit for me, since we’re on lockdown. :)

    On a different note, I love how you’re using the white pastel. Thank you for explaining it will never blend with graphite if put on top.

    On a different note still, I wish I’d studied anatomy. I intuitively feel it would make drawing so much easier. I would know where the muscles are and how they make us look, or how the eye looks the way it does because it’s essentially a ball.

    Beware of the interweeb ghosts! ;) COVID-19 is bad enough… Because of the lockdown, my husband bought me recycled paper instead of the toned tan. But you’ve gotta make the best of what you have. :)

    Thanks again!

    #10403
    Justin
    Member

    Thanks Magdalena (that’s my wife’s name btw ;) )

    I would strongly suggest that if you are serious about portraiture, that you do spend time learning anatomy. Its an often-missed stage but one that is invaluable for portrait artists. understanding the underlying structure can make a world of difference.

    I often use a skull when explaining things in tutorials because it shows the basic form, stripped away – its the main reason why artists have been studying the nude form for so long: Understand what is going on under the clothes before you can truly understand how to draw the clothed model.

    Best wishes & im glad you’re enjoying the videos.

    #10406
    Bill H
    Member

    I shared a picture of my first attempt at a portrait in the gallery, after I viewed Justin’s Workshop 1 videos, which I enjoyed a lot by the way. I found Justin’s “Maas method” “block in” to be VERY helpful. THANK YOU. However, I don’t know how to connect this comment to my first portrait that I downloaded in the gallery. Is there a way?

    My question is: I had considerable trouble keeping my pencil light enough at the “block in” stage, even though I used an H prismacolor pencil. I drew on a Strathmore Drawing Pad series 400. HB seemed out of the question, not to mention 2B or 4B.
    For blocking does moving up to a 2H or 4H makes sense? Or am I doing something wrong?

    #10407
    Justin
    Member

    Hi Bill, glad you found the videos helpful.

    In answer to your question, really *any* pencil could theoretically work for a block in, if your touch was light enough. I often block in with a 2b or even 3b – but HB is my preferred hardness. That said, if you’re having trouble, Id guess your pressure may be a bit too heavy.

    You could switch to a harder lead (2h, 3h, 4h get progressively harder – and thus, lighter- as the number goes up) but the problem with this is that as the lead gets harder, the chance of you damaging the paper (ie, gouging it) goes up.

    Id suggest consciously trying to work lighter – this will take some time and practice – by using less pressure. I cant recommend a specific technique for this other than being aware that you are trying to work lighter & hopefully ‘teaching’ you brain not to apply so much pressure.

    #10431
    Magdalena B
    Member

    I so wish I could study anatomy… But being a university instructor and a mother of 3 in the COVID era is not exactly helpful here. :( You’re right: understanding whatever is going on under the clothes or under the skin surely makes a world of difference.

    I love your tutorials. I need to look more closely at how you are using “white clay”. Apart from not putting it on graphite, I don’t know what I’m doing. It looks like random blots. :/

    Please say hello to your wife from her namesake! =) Thank you for everything!

    #10434
    Magdalena B
    Member

    Sorry, one more question: I like it how your lines (when you block in) are sharp and purposeful. Mine are jagged and hectic. Is this a big problem? Should I be trying to eliminate this unease?

    #10437
    Justin
    Member

    Hi Magdalena,

    That usually will come with confidence, a lot of times artists will use quick, jagged lines because they arent sure they are right. Its not usually a huge problem unless they are too darkbut if you’re concerned, you could try to use a softer touch to begin with – or maybe a harder lead.

    You’ll notice that early on i put down a lot of lines that arent always right but i dont usually go dark until i “lock in” the lines.

    One book i could suggest on the subject is called “High-focus Drawing” by James McMullan McMullan uses a pretty unusual approach & the whole idea is using bold confident lines. I had an instructor in figure drawing who taught us this & while i dont really use it in my own style, it did help me to get more confident with my line work.

    #10439
    Magdalena B
    Member

    Thank you for getting back to me. I guess “confidence” will never be my middle name… I’m a self-conscious perfectionist… I will try to use a softer touch, then, as I don’t like hard leads. :)

    Also, thanks for the book recommendation! I’ve checked it out, and it will definitely be on my list of desired birthday presents.

    On a different note, I’ve watched the video in which you are blocking in the Rock, and it was fascinating. I especially liked your explanation of the process with the transparent sheet.

    You’re a great instructor. Thank you!

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