A compendium of craft masquerading as art, art masquerading as craft, and craft extending its middle finger.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Que Seurat Seurat

I have always wondered how the distinctive little portraits in the Wall Street Journal were done. Can a human be that rigorous, that clever? It turns out that they can! Artist Noli Novak hand-draws each of the images from a photographic source using technical pens. Each portrait takes about five hours. Her website also features some of her innovative collage work.

There are six steps to producing a hedcut for the Journal as this series of process drawings for a hedcut of Pfizer executive Karen Katen indicates. First, a photographic source image for the subject must be located. This can be culled from a wide variety of sources, ranging from personal snapshots to official publicity pictures, as in Katen's case. This image is then reduced or enlarged to a size of approximately 3 x 5 inches. (Originally done with a Photostat machine, Photoshop is now used.) Next, a tracing of the picture is made with pencil, indicating light and dark areas. The resulting image resembles a contour map. The artist then mounts the tracing paper on white illustration board, where the image is easier to see, and develops the subject's features with tiny dots and dashes, using technical pens. To produce a uniform finish, the artist builds up areas of shadow through a combination of small lines (cross-hatching) and dots. Solid blacks are never used; areas are darkened through a denser build-up of marks laid down by the artist. .

LINK via BoingBoing


At 8/01/2005 09:57:00 PM, Blogger Tony Kara said...

Which leaves me wondering - WHY? Why do they pay someone for 5 hours to produce something that I would have believed, and really don't mind believing, is computer generated?

At 8/02/2005 02:21:00 PM, Blogger Roy III said...

because it looks better... that is what is wrong with this world-everyone wants things fast food style... you probably are like "why wait a5 minutes for a good burger when I can get one in 45 seconds at Burger King!"


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