I got Hirschfeld On Line from the library. It’s a nice collection and very inspiring. One thing that blew me away about Hirschfeld’s technique when I realized it is that his big fluid lines are not always singular lines. For example, check out this great drawing of Charlie Rose:
This is a scan of a reproduction so we are limited here, but look closely at the chin. From a distance it seems like two curved lines. Yet on further inspection, you notice the lines look a little jagged. As it turns out these two “lines” are actually composed of many little jaged lines. This is true for almost all the lines in the drawing.
I have trouble explaining why this is so monumentally mind-blowing for me. I guess because it breaks apart a lot of my assumptions. Yet it’s not a unique pen-and-ink technique. For instance, I have this 1950 book, The History and Technique of Lettering by Alexander Nesbitt, and in it he suggests a similar method of building up shapes through short strokes.
Anyway, I first realized Hirschfeld drew this way when I say this video of him drawing when he was 99 years old.