Drapery, being more than just a mere detail, and being both animate, in taking its cue from the shape of the human body, and inanimate, in being at the mercy of wind and gravity, seems to call for a chapter to itself.

A complete knowledge of how to draw drapery is second only in importance for the fashion artist to a knowledge of anatomy. But drapery offers less excuse for inexperience, because in the smallest back-bedroom in the world you can arrange a cotton sheet on the back of a chair in a dozen different ways, and learn the laws that govern drapery. This will give you good practice in the drawing of folds and, to start with, it is a better way than drawing from the draped figure, because you are not distracted by the added difficulty of expressing the form beneath. An easy way of introducing yourself to the problem of indicating the relation between a solid rounded mass and the drapery that flows over and away from it is to arrange a sheet over an upholstered chair, or over a rolled-up mattress. Notice, too, the difference in the character of the folds when they swing clear of the floor and when they reach it and spread over it. Do not despise the ordinary white sheet for experiments of this kind. A length of satin or velvet is not so good when you are in the stage of discovering for yourself the nature of drapery, because they involve difficulties and a glamour of their own and rightly belong to a period when you shall have become acquainted with the anatomy of drapery, and are ready for finer distinctions.

The mere mention of drawing from the antique is enough to produce convulsions in a delicately nurtured amateur, but for the serious student of any kind of drawing or painting it is a necessity that soon becomes a joy. For the student who is learning to draw drapery, indeed, it offers something that can be provided in no other way. If you are drawing from the nude the model can be posed day after day in the same position, and you can perfectly go on every evening in the week with a drawing you began on Monday. The most diligent and experienced model, however, cannot hope to reconstruct the folds of the drapery he wore the day before, and this is where the antique comes in. In every art school there are casts of Greek sculpture of figures partially or wholly draped ; and careful drawings made from these are invaluable because you are unhurried, and because you are not distressed at the thought that the folds can never be quite the same again.

It may be objected that in some antique statues the drapery is made of stuff that is so inflexible that its only counterpart in life to-day would be a tweed skirt

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or a baize apron. In certain cases this is true, but it should not be very difficult to find several in which the stuff hangs with a quite modern fluidity, while if your art school is fortunate enough to have casts of the Frejus Aphrodite from the Louvre or the bas relief of Andromeda and Perseus from the Capitol museum at Rome, you will have an opportunity of studying what are perhaps the most beautiful plastic examples of drapery in the world.

It is at this point that the ordinary artist and the fashion artist pursue divergent paths. The former, if he paints subject pictures, is careful to introduce no fabric that he cannot easily compass and, if he paints portraits, borrows his sitter's evening dress and studies it at his leisure on a lay figure. The fashion artist, however, has the everlasting problem of expressing materials he has only seen for ten minutes or so in the shop, or worse still, which exist for him only in a marginal note on a croquis which has been sent him through the post.

He must, then, hope to glean an experience of fabrics so profound that he has only to be told what a dress is made of to be able to express it so exactly that the most unimaginative client could not mistake it for anything else. Of course this will not always be necessary, but without the knowledge and ability to do it there will be unending anxiety and frequent mistakes. You must learn to know the character of each material, both the surface quality, and that integral element which, governing its folds, makes them radically different from others. This is less difficult than you imagine for all the new fabrics that appear and survive for a season or two are only derived from one or another, in combination, of the dozen or so classic stuffs.

These may be divided into three groups. In the first are stuffs that have a pile, whether velvet, chiffon velvet, or any of those fabrics that seek to imitate fur, such as broadtail cloth. In the second are all those stuffs which, while having no pile, are yet not transparent ; this is the biggest group and includes satin, lame, crepe, marocain, wool fabrics, etc., etc. In the third group are transparent stuffs, such as chiffon, net, georgette and lace.

What really distinguishes velvet from other fabrics, besides the heavy simplicity of its folds, is the fact that its high-lights are always on its edges. This can easily be seen in Nos. i and 2 (pi. 21). No. 1 is a chiffon velvet (a fabric whose transparency is certainly second to its pile and which therefore belongs to the first group) and its high-lights are all on the edges of the folds and not (as in Nos. 3 and 4) down the middle. It is not too fanciful to say that velvet seems to glow from within, having somewhat the appearance of being red-hot. It is only affected in a quite minor degree by chance lights directed on it. No. 2 is a shiny black velvet. The dense black and lights, taken out with a wet brush, are sufficient to give the effect, though black satin would have called for quite four tones.

Velvet, in spite of the tempestuous flamboyance attributed to it by baroque

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