The drawing by Demachy (pi. 31) depicts with great charm a girl who still belongs to the debutante age, although she has acquired detachment and poise. From every point of view this drawing affords me peculiar pleasure. As a whole, it pleases the eye and, as it originally appeared in Femina, it was even better because, instead of being treated by the block-maker as a squared-up half-tone, it was vignetted, and the sense of blankness on the left-hand side of the page was avoided, since the space was occupied by a descriptive paragraph. The original, hardly any larger, was done entirely in pencil, save for a few pen strokes on the hat; and the tone was supplied by smudged pencil and wash. The flesh was done with two coats of wash and it is this, and not pencil, that accounts for the outline that is hard and at the same time varied and expressive. The almost starched whiteness of the shirt and trousers has been disturbed only here and there with smudged pencil, the dark accents of flesh and scarf supplying brilliant notes of contrast. Most notable of all, however, is the delicate suggestion of being on board ship and the peculiar aptness of the girl's pose to the situation she is in. The ship, the calmness of the sea broken hardly at all by the breeze that fans her hair and disturbs the scarf she has casually knotted to the rope, the palms in the distance, the heat haze on the horizon, the big hat she carries, all create an illusion which the wrong pose would have entirely dissipated. Too lethargic for the golf-course, too lounging for evening dress, it exactly expresses the laziness of a hot afternoon. Two excellently contrasted examples of poses which exactly suit the costume may be found on pi. 2, where pyjamas are given a languid, and tweeds a vigorous, stance.

After the debutante comes the woman who is anything between twenty and thirty-five, married rather than not, who forms the subject of the vast majority of fashion drawings, and of nearly all those in this book.

After her, and only occasionally appearing in fashion drawings is the so-called " matron," or older woman. The only example of her in this book is the excellent drawing by Woodruff, already referred to. Immense restraint, as you can see, must be used in the expression of this type. The least exaggeration is fatal. The five accents in this particular head are the deep-setting of the eye, the line at the corner of the nose, the break in the under line of the chin, the outlining of the jaw, and the tendon in the neck ; but so tactfully and delicately are these done that, far from being blemishes, they are marks of added beauty and distinction.

In a full-length figure drawn in line and mechanical tint for a daily paper, it would not be feasible to treat the matter so subtly, but it is still possible to make the eyes deep set, to suggest ever so faintly the heaviness of the jaw, and it is a

usual device to thicken the neck slightly. In a line drawing this is better than putting in the tendon as, since you have to use a line to do it with, it assumes all the importance of an outline.

Let there be no confusion between clothes for the older woman and those for the stout woman, for the latter may be of any age while the former has usually a good figure. Certainly, in the advertisement for big stores in daily papers, the " matron " is sometimes treated as if she were " outsize," the assumption being, rather unwarrantably, that the older woman has bulk to be cleverly concealed rather than dignity to be suitably accentuated. But weekly and monthly papers, when devoting an editorial to the older woman, and better-class shops, when advertising for her, depict a woman who has aged only in the face and neck, who retains a good figure, and who wishes to wear clothes that vary only in the smallest degree from the fashionable norm. In a drawing of this kind, therefore, besides accenting the face here and there and in particular making the eyes heavy and rather tragic and occasionally whitening the hair, you have little to do in the way of altering the figure, save to prevent it assuming any very energetic or slovenly pose. If she be wearing evening dress you may do a little to show the aging of her arms, by a slight heaviness of the upper arm, a sharpness of elbow and a rather tendonous wrist; but it were infinitely better not to do any of this than to do it too much. The older woman wears jewellery that is valuable rather than modern ropes of pearls, pendant earrings, heavy diamonds on the marriage finger and a few good bracelets, and occasionally square diamond buckles on the shoes being suitable accessories, but not all at once. She may carry a lorgnette, but never must she wear glasses why, I don't know.

Certain large and inexpensive stores, advertising frequently in the daily press, make a feature of matrons' clothes, and these are often drawn on women who are frankly huge. They are not made as haggard, however, as those in the editorials of weekly and monthly papers, both because of the difficulty (pointed out above) of giving age a sufficiently delicate expression in line, and also because the large unlettered public is apt to regard it as a falling off in attractiveness rather than as an added distinction.

The broad difference, then, between drawing an older woman for the better class of publication, and drawing her for the more popular press, is that in the former she has a haggard, rather scraggy, beauty, while in the latter she is plump and matronly.

We have already seen (in Chapter Five) some of the differences that exist between women of about the same age and wearing the same dress, when they are drawn for different purposes. Something should, perhaps, be said of the differences in milieu, in place and in time that may be suggested by the backgrounds in which you place them.

Fashion Design Drawing - Drawing Age Action 7.jpg

In daily papers for the most part, in those weeklies and monthlies that are priced at sixpence or less, and in practically all advertisements (catalogues are an exception) the background has ceased to exist, except occasionally in the form of a chair or the portion of a table or part of a balustrade. The telephone, whether in use or at rest on a corner of a " Louis " or a " modern " table, is a good accessory here. When out of doors, a leafy branch and a Sealyham (if you can manage it) are good touches. A dog can be adequately implied, even by those who cannot draw one, by making the woman who is the subject of the drawing (and who had better, for this, be walking) hold one end of a lead, the other end of which is out of the picture, the implication being that she is being dragged along by her dog, whose energy has already carried it out of sight. Violent exercise, however, is only consistent with morning costume.

A total absence of background does not mean that a certain amount of " time and place " cannot be suggested by suitable properties. Thus a golf costume may be made fool-proof by giving the wearer a club to hold, while she shades her eyes with the other hand and peers into the distance. Be careful, however, that she does not assume this gesture in conjunction with a putter, as inconsistent details are maddening. Golf can also be suggested, with economy, by putting in a sand-box, or a flag at a suitable distance behind the figure. A racquet in the hand, and a section of a net behind, suggests tennis, though the eye-shade has become a popular device, and is certainly better than a rickety racquet.

The magazines, and occasionally catalogues, that allow more scope in the way of backgrounds, also expect rather more imagination and efficiency in their presentation. But it is possible to do a great deal of work for such publications without ever doing a background at all, as they are not by any means the rule. Nor are backgrounds inevitably of a descriptive nature. Sometimes they are purely decorative.

Fashion Drawing Sections

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