Fashion Design Drawing - Animate Details 3.jpg

suitable for an exotic sophisticated kind of woman. The head is done entirely in pencil and wash and is only suitable for reproduction on glazed paper.

No. 5 is a line treatment, suitable for reproduction on cheap paper. It is rather uncompromising and would give any hairdresser a fit. An impression of glossiness could have been given by a multiplication of the white lines, but this kind of treatment is best when most simple. It is well adapted to rather freakish, or very new styles of hairdressing, or for little marginal drawings for an article that treated the subject satirically.

After considering head and hair we come to hands, the bane of bad fashion artists and of bad artists generally. Beautifully shod feet, on the other hand, it is a comfort to reflect, are often within the scope of fashion artists, but are invariably beyond the powers of even competent portrait painters.

The fashion in hands changes and has done so for the last two thousand years, as anyone who has ever visited a museum or a picture gallery must know. The rather boyish fashions of the last ten years have produced large bony hands and now, no doubt, a rather more soft and graceful hand will be required to go with the soft and graceful clothes that are being worn. How the actual structure and tension of a whole generation of hands is made to conform to a particular tendency of fashion, or whether it is that only those hands are allowed to appear which can adequately express the spirit of their decade, all others being thrust into muffs and pockets, it would be idle to discuss here. It is enough to say that the fashion artist must be able to draw any hand in any position, and to do so, moreover, in conformity to the peculiar prejudice of the day and to the mannerisms with which he treats the rest of the figure.

The hands on pi. 11, all drawn by me, are not particularly well done, but they illustrate some point or other. Let me start by saying that in civilised countries rings are worn by no one on the thumb or middle finger, and only by potters and weavers on the first finger ; this leaves the marriage and little finger, of which it is better not to decorate both on the same hand. A large single stone (Nos. 5 and 10) is better than two or three small stones, while a narrow single ring is sometimes an authentic touch of restraint when the rest of the figure is smothered in luxury. Bracelets may cover your weakness in drawing wrists, but not for ever. It is more usual to wear all the bracelets on one wrist. Unless the unforeseen occurs, the plain tubular bracelet, known as a slave bangle, has virtually disappeared, particularly from its erstwhile fascinating position between the elbow and shoulder.

But rings, bracelets, bags, fans and muffs cannot cover every joint, and one of the first criticisms you will endure, when you try to sell your work, will refer to your drawing of hands.

No. 1 is a good treatment, a good position and a good type of hand. Never

overstate the position of a hand (like No. 9), unless it is actually doing or holding something, when you will naturally want to get all the character you can into it. Except in a few cases the wrinkles across the back of the knuckles are always left out. In whatever position, be sure that the corresponding knuckles in each finger are in some consistent curve, and in particular the points where the fingers join one another. The absence of a proper relationship between these points can throw the whole hand out of drawing.

No. 2 is drawn entirely in pencil and shows the use of shading to indicate the bend in a finger, while it is not used merely to show the wrinkles that occur even where there is no bend. The trick of leaving the ends of the fingers undefined is rather good sometimes, as it suggests movement to some extent. This free pencil treatment of hands is good when you have to show them opening something, or using a lighter or something of the kind.

No. 3 is the stout person's hand or that of the petite, rather plump girl. Fat people nearly always have small hands, and the mere fact that you draw their hands and feet rather less than normal at once makes them look stout, without having recourse to any dreadful exaggerations in order to suggest this. The particular angle of this hand, in which the wrist looks wider than the hand itself, and the faint suggestion of tension across the back of the fingers, are both points which help to imply plumpness in the whole figure.

Nos. 4 and 5 are the extremes beyond which it is generally unwise to go in distortion and simplification. These hands would go, roughly speaking, with the eyes and mouths, Nos. 3 and 5. Although so exaggerated, it is easy enough to make them express anything one wants to even to hold golf clubs or adjust skis.

No. 6 is taken from Manet's " Olympia " in the Louvre, and is typical of a good, natural, easy position, and can be repeated again and again in fashion drawings. The hand itself is rather podgy for the present day, but the position, being unaffected, is the very antithesis of Nos. 9 or 14, and goes admirably, for example, with an arm of which the elbow is resting on something. It is a welcome alternative to the eternal hand on the hip : a cigarette can be inserted between the first and second fingers, a letter or the lead of a dog between first finger and thumb : better still, let it hold nothing.

Fashion Drawing Sections

Part-1 Part-2 Part-3 Part-4 Part-5 Part-6 Part-7 Part-8