WSJ Images, Beyond the Hedcut, Part 2

motocross thumbnail

More WSJ images, beyond the Hedcut that I produced while at the Wall Street Journal. Like I said, aside from the straight portrait, or “hedcut”, the paper ran a lot of illustrated common interest stories. Here is a collection of my illustrations that ran in the paper in the 1980’s (how time flies, My Readers!), with commentary…

Findley | WSJ Images

You’ll notice the notations surrounding the art— We had a kind of filing system to keep track of the art. If a piece of art had a single alphabet-letter prefix, it indicates the inceptive series of our illustrative output, i.e., early- ’80’s. Note the “orientation” line. I used to include this informative dingbat on the art to give the camera guys an indication of how to put the art on their production camera’s copyboard.

Carvers | WSJ Images

A bit loose, but, it tells the story.

Olympic Volleyball | WSJ Images

This illustration is about depth-of-field. I made a good effort to give the athlete good clarity, while using my eye to take the background out-of-focus, as it was in the original photo reference. It was a challenge to translate soft-focus into the precise realm of pen-and-ink line art, but, in this piece, I think it’s working.

Motocross | WSJ Images

The extreme sport thing was just taking hold. I thought it weird that one had to wear a helmet just to ride a 20” two-wheeler, but what did I know?

Weight Lifter | WSJ Images

I was checking out, and admiring, the work of illustrator Elliott Banfield. His superlative work was appearing regularly in the New York Times Review of Books, and I noticed he made regular use of parallel line-patterns. I thought I’d try my hand at it, and made my own template in the side of a “C-Thru” plastic template by carving indentations into it with an Ex-Acto knife. Placing the template against a T-square or adjustable triangle (Oh! So Old School), I could draw wobbly lines with precicision …like Elliott. So, Patient Reader, the background texture contains this wobbly linear effect, with the necessary jots and dots for fine-tuning.

Homeless | WSJ Images

This sad image portrays an all too familiar feature: the Homeless Soul. Gotta give the Journal (of its time) credit for giving news-space to an unfortunate like Jim here.

Gravity Boots | WSJ Images

The inversion health kick was all the rage in the old days. Actually (so I’ve heard), Hippocrates himself advised hanging upside-down from the heels on a daily basis to promote overall good health. The Ancients used a crude ladder for this. I prefer the inversion table.

Snugli | WSJ Images

These baby harnesses were the new thing in the 80’s, and the Journal ran illustrated coverage to report on what we boomers were up to!

That is quite a bit of history recorded. I lay down my pen, ’til next time…

This post is one of a three part series.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *