Stipple Portrait Illustrations | Musicians

Stipple Portrait Ottorino Thumb

This time, I am profiling some notable musicians that I have illustrated in WSJ style stipple portraits. I am a pretty heavy-duty music fan, so creating these portraits was a labor of love.

Back in the nineties, I was commissioned most weeks by the New Yorker magazine. In those days, the Goings On About Town, or “GOAT” section was all in black-and-white. No color imagery as is the case today. As far as I know, this was a stylistic rather than practical direction on the part of the Editors and Designers. I think it was a distinctive look. Here are three art works that appeared in the magazine…

Stipple Portrait - Youssou N’Dour

Youssou N’Dour, the famous Senegalese vocalist and composer. The shirt on this figure was the real challenge— so much detail!

Robert Cray - Stipple Portrait

Robert Cray, the legendary American blues-man. I had fun with this one, and put some flourishes of line-work to impart movement to the composition.

Sylvain Sylvain Stipple Portrait

Sylvain Sylvain, American rock guitarist, perhaps most notable for being a member of the New York Dolls. (That is a cool name.) Because the above illustrations were called for so frequently, I was required to drop everything and jump on the assignments in order to keep the gig. Turnaround was usually 24-hours, so I had to work fast. This is why I utilized the cross-hatch technique in addition to the more stipple portrait oriented style I created for the Wall Street Journal Hedcut illustrations.

Lastly, a portrait I created for my own pleasure and purposes. The Italian composer Ottorino Respighi. I love his suite of music that includes the Fountains of Rome, The Pines of Rome, and the Festivals of Rome…

Ottorino Stipple Portrait

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