Mastercopies in Ballpoint Pen

Creating a mastercopy of a historical drawing is an effective exercise for honing your drawing skills. This video is a hands on demo that provides tips for how to get started with a mastercopy. There is also a discussion that provides insight into the value doing a mastercopy can have to advance and strengthen your drawing skills. Demo by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching Artist Jordan McCracken-Foster.

Video Walkthrough

  • A mastercopy is a really useful exercise to step outside of your usual technique and try something new.
  • The purpose of a mastercopy is entirely about the experience of drawing, it’s not about a product!
  • When doing a mastercopy, you are looking at the artist’s technique much more closely than usual.
  • The goal of a mastercopy is not a precise copy, rather it’s about trying a different technique.
  • Ballpoint pens are great because they respond to physical pressure.
  • You don’t have to use precisely the same materials as the original artwork, similar materials that get a similar result are fine.
  • When working on the mastercopy, ask yourself what you notice about the original drawing?
  • Pentel makes archival ballpoint pens.
  • Studying art history in art school.
  • Making a mastercopy can feel like a very foreign experience.
  • Being a concept and character artist is in some ways doing a mastercopy.
  • Drawings are brttrer for making mastercopies than paintings because in a drawing you see all the mistakes; in paintings many of the layers are covered over.
  • Drawings make it a lot easier to see the artist’s process.
  • Looking at X-rays of a painting to understand the layers.

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