A face among his subjects, talented graphic artist at Total Office Supply, Justin Maas was invited to create a book sharing his expertise on drawing portraits. (Jim Elliott/ Salmon Arm Observer)

Celebrity portraits attract book offer

Talented Shuswap artist Justin Maas shares technique for realistic pencil portraiture

It was a gift graphic designer Justin Maas will never forget.

Just a few days before Christmas 2017, Northlight Books, whose parent company F&W Media produces The Artist’s Magazine, invited the Salmon Arm artist to write a book.

It was something the talented artist had wanted to do for sometime.

Read more: Tweet gets quick reaction

In 2015, Maas got an immediate reaction from Howie Mandel after he published a portrait of the celebrity on Twitter.

By December 2017, Maas counted 180,000 online followers viewing his portraits of celebrities.

The book contract was signed in early January 2018 and Maas worked on the project for about six months, with Drawing Realistic Pencil Portraits Step by Step: Basic Techniques for the Head and Face, hitting bookstores this July.

The first half of the book provides information on materials of choice, understanding how to render a likeness and methods for blocking in drawings.

“The second part of the book is 14 full demonstrations of basically portraits, and 70 to 80 per cent of the people in the book are Salmon Arm residents,” he says, noting portraits of four celebrities are also in the book, including Cary Elwis of Princess Bride fame and Erin Krakow star of TV show When Calls the Heart. “It was a lot of work but they (F&W) do art books so they have it down to a science. They give you a plan so every page builds on the last.”

Using the guidance provided by Northlight Books, Maas was able to work in small increments, so while there was a lot of work, the project moved ahead smoothly.

Read more: Shuswap artists on display

Pleased with the result, Maas is also delighted a feature article on him and his work will appear in The Artist Magazine, one of the biggest art magazines on the market, this spring.

That will likely deliver another boost to his Instagram numbers, which have already grown to 260,000 followers.

Drawing Realistic Pencil Portraits Step by Step: Basic Techniques for the Head and Face is available for preview and pre-order at Bookingham Palace in the Mall at Piccadilly and online at Amazon, IndieBound and Barnes and Noble.

A collection of Maas’ portraits can be viewed at https://www.instagram.com/maas.art.


@SalmonArm
barb.brouwer@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Just Posted

UPDATED 6:15 P.M.: Serious accident closes portion of Highway 6 in Vernon

Car and pickup involved in collision near Pottery Road just after 5 p.m.; detours around scene

Vernon baseball players land U.S. deals, help teammate battle cancer

Four Vernon players on Okanagan Athletics heading south to play ball at college

Vernon tattoo fundraiser draws tons of support

Lineup around the block for start and beginning of Five Fathoms Tattoo event for Children’s Hospital

Vernon Tigers, South Okanagan Flames play to wild draw

Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League match ends 17-17; overtime solves nothing

Okanagan adventurer continues motorcycle trip around the world

Vernon local James Leigh recently completed the third of five legs of the journey, travelling through China and Kazakhstan

Weather holds up for Rutland May Days

60th annual May Day midway, market and entertainment saw hundreds of attendees

Former Greyhound Canada employees gather in Okanagan to say a final farewell

“Greyhound may take our jobs but they will never take our friendships,” says former bus driver

Kelowna firefighters douse blaze in hedges

The cause of the fire on Renfrew Road is under investigation.

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

Okanagan Springtime Regatta draws more than 50 sailboats

Sailors treated to windy, excellent long weekend conditions on Okanagan Lake in Kelowna

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

Fundraising campaign for church shooting victim exceeds goal

A seperate campaign for the man killed in the April 14 shooting is nearing $25,000 raised.

Most Read