HOW A PHOTO BECOMES A WALL STREET JOURNAL HEDCUT PDF

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Authentic WSJ stipples are never digitally generated. I am a senior staff illustrator at the WSJ, one of only 5 illustrators creating authentic hedcut portraits.

How does the WSJ portray people? In other words, to draw as close to the photo as possible. Those who supply us with images like the photo department, or the reporters also have only one requirement, and that is to obtain the LATEST image for a reference. For example, a photo of a person talking or caught in a middle of a sentence press conference, speeches, etc , often ends up looking strange or grimacing in a drawing, so at the Journal, we try to stay away from such images, but if no other photos are available, we try to pick the most flattering one.

Sometimes, a subject request that we draw from a picture they picked themselves like their official press photo but quite frankly, I prefer to draw from candid shots. Studio photographers like to use "creative lighting" and aggressive digital processing resulting in an unnatural and plastic expressions.

Just look at the Hillary Clinton image on the right. It was a very nice, posed photo, but I prefer the drawing on the left, done from a candid shot. Another fact worth mentioning is that at the Journal, we try very hard to keep up with all the important appearance alterations, such as hairdo and facial hair changes, lost or gained weight etc. Some drawings are more successful then others, but I have to tell you I simply blame it on the photo!

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Creating the Wall Street Journal Hedcut Effect on a Photo

Email The Wall Street Journal features detailed, "hedcut" portraits of public figures. WSJ artists have been producing these stipple portraits by hand since the publication first started using them in But you can get close with a few different methods using both software and free online tools. These instructions apply to Photoshop CS5 and later. Some menu items and commands may be different between versions.

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