Although every drawing is finally accompanied by a descriptive note, you have got to give, in your finished drawing, a pretty good idea of the colour values of the original, even though you have only got monochrome at your disposal.

Black can obviously be expressed with black, and white with white, but when you come to draw a green coat with a red hat, it is less easy to give an idea of the relative values of these colours.

There are two ways of noting down the colour values in your preliminary sketch. You can simply note the colour, just writing down green, red, etc., opposite the parts so coloured, and wait till you get home to figure out with what tones you will express their comparative values. But a better way is to number white, or your lightest colour, as No. i, and your next lightest as No. 2, and so on. Occasionally, as when it is rather difficult at first to determine which is the lightest tone (in the absence of white), it may be easier to count black as No. i and work the other way ; but it is as well to stick to the same notation every time if possible, and not to confuse yourself by starting with white one day and with black the next. Since it is not always easy to remember whether the green was lighter or darker in tone than the red, this numerical system is really better than the descriptive ; and it has another use besides. Suppose a hat and a bag are the same tone, though different colours, these are much better indicated in your sketch by the same numeral than by the names of the colours which do not, in themselves, imply the same tone.

Also, when a dress is all one colour, but in several tones, numbers can be used to show the gradation of these. Thus in the illustration (pi. 3) which is a ten-minute sketch of a black lace dress, both systems have been used. Part of the dress is in lace, part in chiffon, all black and all transparent. The No. 1 refers to the chiffon where there is only one thickness, the mass of it, of course, being opaque. I have used words and not numbers to describe the roses on the bodice, as numerals were used to describe different tones of black, but numbers might just as well have been used for the lot. There is no doubt as to which part of the dress is lace and which chiffon, as you can see. There is a note at the side showing the pattern of the lace, and another note to remind me that the dress was, if anything, tighter round the hips. Notice that I have made no attempt to improve the figure on the spot. Improvements and alterations all take place at home, as you will see in a subsequent chapter.

Many of the above remarks apply to hats also, but before going " through to the millinery," I may say that if you are sketching a coat and skirt, or a dress which calls for a hat to complete it, you had better ask that a hat of some kind be put on the model's head before you start work on the drawing. You can then be certain that the hat, at least in the opinion of the buyer, is suitable to go with the costume. Sometimes she says, " Oh, you can just make up a hat, can't you ? " Of course you can ; and you do. And it may be the one thing in your finished drawing she dislikes and wants altered.

Hats are usually easy to draw but difficult to put on. Dresses take a certain amount of adjustment, but hats are far more tricky. The buyer may be the only

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person in the department who knows how the new hats are to be put on, since it was she who saw how they were wearing them in Paris : if she does not know, then no one does. I have never known a millinery buyer, however plain, who could not wear a hat extremely well and enjoy wearing it; and you are lucky in one respect if you can persuade her to pose for you herself. On the other hand a buyer has never been known to sit still for a minute : and, having very often the eyes of a hawk and the voice of a peacock, she is apt to move her head somewhat, while exercising these organs, in an attempt to carry on the work of the department all the time she is posing.

If it is sometimes possible to pin up, or tuck in, a dress so that someone whom it does not fit can pose in it, it is quite useless to attempt to draw a hat on a head that it does not fit.

If there is a choice of available young ladies in the hat department choose, not the fluffy blonde with the mechanical waves who is bound to look common in anything, but the unassuming woman, not very young perhaps, who might be expected to look like a person of consequence in the hat she is to put on.

Here again do not draw a line until the buyer has arranged the hat to her satisfaction. And even then you would do well to question her about the hair, asking her if it is arranged in the way most likely to enhance the hat. Also ask from which view she wants it drawn. Far more than dresses, hats change their character entirely when seen from different angles. Frequently the best view is the back view, and you may even get the buyer to agree with you about this.

Always draw down a little further than you need, as nothing looks poorer than a head and hat, obviously drawn from life, set upon a neck and shoulders that must have been invented from memory.

As you are drawing for an advertisement you will be obliged, as with the dresses, to economise your space ; but if, by any chance, there is room to spare hats always look more important when you can take the drawing down to the elbows, or even further. This can sometimes be achieved if you suggest drawing one of their necklaces, or a matching scarf, in the same sketch as the hat, or even gloves or a blouse.

Fashion Drawing Sections

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