10 Amazing Stipple Portraits by Noli Novak

on September 25th, 2010

Noli Novak is one of Wall Street Journal’s hedcut (stipple portrait) illustrators, and for nearly 20 years she has created. At her studio, she typically receives an e-mailed photo of her subject. Then, deftly employing a number-one pen, she copies a three-by-five inch image onto special vellum paper. She creates a realistic image with a constellation of dots, lines and crosshatches, a process that generally takes about three hours.


The Wall Street Journal adopted the current form of this portraiture in 1979 when freelance artist Kevin Sprouls approached the paper with some ink dot illustrations he’d created. The front page editor felt that the drawings complemented the paper’s classical feeling and gave it a sense of stability. A post on Kevin is coming up soon – in the meanwhile please enjoy Noli Novak’s amazing portraits – and believe me when I say that doing one of these babies is really hard work. I tried, and my patience failed me.

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More about the artist

Noli Novak’s Official Website: http://www.nolinovak.com/

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