Lines and Colors art blog

Randy Glass

Randy Glass, pen and ink, stipple, portraits, WSJ hedcuts
Randy Glass is a well-known illustrator who specializes in the pen and ink technique of stipple, in which a multitude of carefully placed dots — sometimes of varying size — coalesce visually to create tone.

It’s a technique adapted to the relatively low resolution of newspaper printing, in which the artist has more control over the final appearance of the illustration than a mechanically generated screen applied to a continuous tone image.

It also has the effect of being visually appealing in its own right, particularly when the dots are large enough to also provide surface texture. It’s especially pleasing to my eye when the dots are arranged in patterns of flow that help define the volume and topology of the face, as in the “hedcut” portraits Glass and a select group of other illustrators draw for the Wall Street Journal (above, middle rows).

Glass also does wonderfully expressive portraits in monochromatic watercolor (above, bottom three).