We are agreed that she is to stand naturally, but do not let her take too ambitiously natural a pose. Some girls are frankly lazy and lean against something and, if it is not too flagrant a case of lolling, it is best to allow it, as she will keep much more steady in a position of her own choosing. The most important thing is the stance, which should be easy and well-balanced. Except when some special pose is desired, it is best if she takes her whole weight on one leg. This means that the other knee is somewhat bent and that the torso and hips are tilted and graceful. Strange as it may seem, a girl standing with her weight definitely on one leg will not sway half as much as one who has her weight equally divided and who keeps throwing it from one foot to the other.

It is almost impossible to prevent a professional mannequin (if such has been provided for you), deprived for the moment of all the resources of undulation, from putting her hands gracefully on her hips. But, as all the large stores are well content that nine out of ten dresses shall be shown on a figure so posed this hardly matters. I must insist here that it is always a great waste of time, when working for the average store, to look for anything out of the ordinary, and you have only to glance at the daily paper to see what are the favourite poses.

It is essential, by the way, to ask the advertising manager for what paper the drawings are intended, whether for a weekly or monthly journal, or for a daily paper. If he has taken a whole page in the Tatler or Vogue he will hardly propose to put more than four full-length figures on it, in which case you can spread yourself a little and your full-length ladies may spread themselves too. But if he has taken a whole page in a daily paper, which has cost him some hundreds of pounds, and where life is less leisurely and every centimetre counts, you must restrict yourself as rigorously as you can. It is possible to open almost any daily paper»and to find a whole page taken by one large store. On it you may find crowded together, as I once did, no less than twenty-three full-length adult ladies, four missies, two half-ladies wearing blouses, two half-ladies wearing petticoats, four heads wearing hats, two pairs of unoccupied shoes and two of gloves, a dinner table fully laid with linen and glass, and in between all these pictures a mass of descriptive writing which gives, as the jelly does in brawn, some coherence to the whole. It stands to reason that in conditions such as these your ladies cannot flop about or take their ease. You must draw some of them full face, while those that are looking to the left must not be greatly out-numbered by those looking to the right, so that there will be no difficulty in balancing up the page when the layout is considered. The ladies, under such conditions, must stand almost at attention, and cannot possibly flourish parasols and racquets, for

fear of disarranging the dinner table or of damaging each other. If the above has sounded ridiculous it is the fault, not of the author, but of mass advertising ; for what I have described is an actual sale-time advertisement of a world-famous general store. I wish I might mention its name.

Knowing in which paper the drawings are to appear, and having got the buyer to arrange the dress or hat to her complete satisfaction, you must ask her from which angle she wants the dress sketched. This is often a matter that only the buyer can settle, as she has chosen it from dozens of others for some particular point that she hopes will sell it.

This decided, and the model posed, the next process depends entirely upon your ability and is, therefore, a personal matter. If you are a quick worker you will be able to produce, in little over five minutes, a good enough sketch to enable any intelligent person to see what the dress is like. Do not use rubber unless absolutely unavoidable, as a great deal of rubbing out inspires no one with confidence, least of all yourself : and the model soon grows restive who fancies she is» posing to someone who is making a mess of her. Always a bane rather than a blessing, rubber is never more so than here. If, during the course of your drawing, one or two lines come in the wrong place, you can put the right line in next to them. If you rub them out, you are likely to put them in in exactly the same place again. Above all, rubbing out wastes time, and you have not a second to spare.

Do not, however, let your awareness of the importance of speed impel you to feverish scribbling, while nothing is so fruitless as a pencil which hovers, trembling, over the paper half the time, only to make occasional jerky lines. Go quietly ahead, making every line mean something and putting in as much as you can. Put in more than you need rather than less, so that when you get home you can simplify. Simplification takes time and thought, and must never be attempted on the spot.

Some people will tell you that the naked body should be sketched in under the clothes. This is so only when you are making up a figure, and not when you have a model, as it would be waste of precious time to sketch in an imaginary torso and legs when you have a perfectly good model in front of you. Certainly when you have to do a drawing without any preliminary sketch from nature you are obliged to make something up, and the only way to do this is to rough in the naked figure first ; but in the ordinary way the most inconsidered line drawn from nature is worth more than hours of careful faking when you get home.

Having before you, let us suppose, some sheets of paper of a size that amply accommodates the height of your usual full-length figures, and using your pencil simply and unexcitedly, start on that part of the model that you find easiest. I hope this will be some part of the head, for I feel there must be something wrong about anyone who wants to start lower down. Beginning with the head,

you can start at the very top of the paper and thus minimise the risk of having no room for the feet.

If you are habitually inclined to miss the movement of a pose, you might remedy this by a simple indication of the direction of the head, the angle of the shoulders and the swing of the torso before actually drawing them in. But a single line is enough for each, for you must try and keep your first sketch as free and as natural as possible. Your object in making it is not, after all, to show its similarity to a thousand other figures, but to discover the dozen interesting points in which it differs : and the realisation of this will help you even more when you come to draw for magazines.

Put in all the folds and creases that you have time for because, though it may not be apparent to you, these are often caused by the particular cut that makes for the individuality of that dress. As a matter of fact, when sketching for the store direct, as you are now doing, you will have to take out nearly all those little folds and creases when you come to make the finished drawing. Not only is this because, for half-tone reproduction on cheap paper or for any line work, simplicity and economy of detail are absolutely essential, but for a better reason : there is a convention among shopkeepers that new clothes are devoid of creases and are stretched, with glove-like smoothness, over figures which have been purged of all embarrassing prominences. It is as well, none the less, to include these creases in your first sketch as they cannot fail to leave traces of interest and animation in your work, even though they are afterwards deleted : and, besides, if you get into the habit of doing so it will stand you in good stead when you come to do a different class of work.

It is the same with shading. In work done for shops, shading, by which I mean both cast shadows and also shading put in to give solidity, is purely conventional or frankly omitted. But in branches of fashion drawing where there is more scope you will get some of your most telling effects from shadows and from shading. So get into the way of putting it in, however lightly.

Fashion Drawing Sections

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