Line is voice, and art is communication. So in order to be a better artist we need to make sure that we understand the lines we draw is how we speak. Clear lines are important just as flawless voice.
Al Hirschfeld is an illustrator whose line work is almost flawless. He was a master of the single line drawing technique. This meant when Hirschfeld started a line he would not remove his pencil from the page.
Hirschfeld began his career imitating the most popular artist of his day, Charles Dana Gibson. Gibson was the creator of the Gibson Girl. The Gibson girl is important because she became a symbol of female empowerment and style for American women for over 30 years.
Gibson recognized that women were being ignored when it came to marketing. So he targeted his work towards them which caused Gibson to soar in popularity. His drawings of confident women inspired hairstyles and clothing for many American women.
Hirschfeld grew up on the beaches of Hawaii. He would start his beachside drawings squinting his eyes, shielding brilliant sun. His squinted eye drawings became a game of drawing a single line. This early game in his childhood would propel him into fame in his career.
You knew were famous if Hirschfeld drew you.
Hirschfeld would honor his daughter by hiding her name in his illustrations after she was born. Sometimes he would place a number by his signature that revealed how many times he hid her name in the drawing.
Impressed with his ability to hide the names, the Army Air Corps felt if you could find the "Nina" name in Hirschfeld's illustrations, one could find where to drop bombs from a bomber plane. So young recruits were tested to be bombardiers by finding Nina's name.
Don't forget your skull drawings!