Saturday, June 4, 2011

Trying to Draw Like Al Hirschfeld

CD cover for my friend Lisa, designed by Dawn Yema, drawings by me. I'd been sketching Lisa while she performed for a few years, and turned a decent likeness into a caricature under the influendce of Al Hirschfeld. The drawings of the other artists are mostly from photos. The exception is Linda Tennyson, the bassist behind Lisa's elbow.

Hirschfeld, born in 1903, was the NY Times Drama Caricaturist. He died, still drawing, five months shy of his hundredth birthday. Of course the fellow with the white whiskers and the eyebrows is the artist in self portrait. The sketchier stuff is Hirschfeld, studying Tom Courtenay. Hirschfeld would attend opening night, sit on the aisle, and take notes or draw in a personal shorthand in his pocket. I've seen a video of the ninety-nine year old Hirschfeld working on a finished drawing of Paul Newman as the Narrator/Stage Manager in Our Town. The Tom Courtenay studies are instructive, but I'd give a lot to see some of the pocket drawings.

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