As per my invitation by The Metropolitan Museum in NYC, I participated in a public program organized on the occasion of the exhibition Michelangelo, Divine Draftsman and Designer. I held a workshop and showcase of my hedcut drafting technique for two groups of people interested in learning more about it. I was invited by Ann Meisinger, Assistant Educator for Public Programs & Creative Practice Education at The Met Museum.
For the workshop, Ann preferred that we use reference images of some of the artworks from the museum's own collection. She picked a few, including a Fayum portrait of a young boy named Eutyches.
I drew a stipple portrait of Eutyches to show the "students" what the actual hedcut would look like.
From my experience of training the new artists for the WSJ, I knew that the drawing process might be a bit too technical for the attendees to master in an hour. On average, it takes about a month of daily practice for a person to start forming a cohesive style, but everybody in attendance was genuinely interested in giving it a shot.
Most of the feedback from those who tried to draw, was that it is much harder than it looks. For instance, cross hatching needs to be smooth with the lines evenly spaced and dots have to be placed in patterns and even rows, both unique characteristics of the hedcut technique.
At the WSJ, my colleagues and I have all developed our own, individual ways of doing hedcuts over many years of paper's constantly changing needs and deadlines, so at the workshop, I set up a few different ways of drawing. We had drawing panels, as well as light boxes and a variety of micron pens and vellum paper.
In relation to the hedcuts, I checked out the Michelangelo exhibit. I focused mainly on his works on paper, more specifically his hatching technique and pen and ink line work which there were many examples of.
In the end, I'd like to point out that my hedcut "workshop" was a very special event. I get asked about hedcuts quite a bit but I normally don't teach the technique outside of the WSJ. Therefore, I'd like to extend another huge "Thank you" to Ann Meisinger and The Met for the invite and the rare opportunity to do a little show-and-tell about real WSJ hedcuts. I was also happy to learn they are interested in doing a workshop with my paper collage technique in the future, which is very exciting.
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