The choice of a treatment is the most personal thing of all, for, though in time you may achieve versatility, there is always one style above all others to which you are naturally drawn in the first place, and with which you usually start your career and hope to make a name. Since, for the purposes of the beginner, the reproduction of drawings done in colour, or in pencil or charcoal alone, is out of the question, there remain pen, brush, ink, wash, or some combination of these.

Fashions in these matters come and go, and it is not long since the editress of a good fashion magazine told me that the day of pen and wash was over. As far as she is concerned, it does seem to be ; but there remain a dozen little magazines where it is the staple medium. The editress of any of these will perhaps tell you that this bold brush-and-wash technique will never catch on, regardless of the fact that it is already a standing dish in the shilling press.

Certainly there is, in the more expensive magazines, a tendency away from the hard outline. A finely pointed brush is used now, where a pen would have been used before, and a pencil outline is often sufficient for a wash treatment. The shops that advertise in the shilling magazines usually approximate in style to the best drawings in the particular one they favour. If they are a long way behind in proficiency they are at least done in the same media as the editorial illustrations ; while the majority of advertisements in the daily press are done in line and mechanical tint.

Of course, if you intend that your career as a fashion artist shall just last the summer and shall cease when the end of July takes you to Salzburg, Swanage or San Sebastian, then you are indeed safe to ignore all media but the one you fancy at the moment, just as you would never in that case be required to tackle furs. But if you want to make more than just a game or a hobby of it, you must learn proficiency in more than one technique.

I hope that enough has been said in an earlier chapter to convince you how useless it is to proceed any further without some ability to draw in pencil from life. Nothing is more pathetic than a display of efficiency in the painting of fur and satin, grafted on to a figure in which the hands and feet are the veriest deformities. Any one with eyes in his head and enough fingers to hold a brush can make a recognisable copy of a given texture, but only a few of those who can sharpen a lead pencil can ever express anything with it.

Hardly anyone, indeed, does know how to sharpen a pencil. Never do so

with anything but a sharp knife kept for the purpose. If a whole knife is too much, keep at least one blade sacred, and have it sharpened every six weeks or so. The point of the pencil must be long, both as regards the wood and the lead, the distance from the first incision in the wood to the tip of the lead measuring about an inch. If you press too hard on it, it will at once break, and this is just as it should be. The sooner you learn to draw with a light hand, the sooner you learn to draw. The short point produces no variation of line whatever and is fit only for a waitress. Another advantage of the long point is that, when the tip becomes a little blunt, you may give it fresh point by rubbing the side of it on a piece of rough paper. Never use emery paper for this ; it is too drastic, and makes dust. At all costs avoid a pencil sharpener ; it only produces a tame kind of point, with which it is impossible to get any delicacy of line. Never use a razor blade, with or without a holder ; it either chips off pieces of wood or buries itself deep in the pencil.

Always use good pencils, and be extravagant with them. Do not use them to draw with when they get at all short, as your hand gets used to the feel of a long pencil, and you cannot expect it to have the same delicate control over a stump. What kind you use is entirely a matter of your own comfort. I use a 2B for every purpose, both in the shop and at home, but probably a B is better for most people. Use a soft pencil for sketching in the shop and a harder one for redrawing by all means, but you will be disconcerted one day when you start work in the shop and find you have only brought hard pencils. Wolff's Royal Sovereign pencils, which I always use, are made in England, as are several other good makes, and there is no need to use a foreign pencil.

You will also need a blue pencil, not indelible, for shading the areas in line drawings which are to receive a tint when reproduced (Chapter Nine).

There are plenty of good English rubbers ; choose one that is not too hard, as if it does not at once, so to speak, grip the paper, it slides over the pencil marks and smudges them. A hard rubber, too, is liable to tear the surface of the paper. It is best to have two rubbers, not necessarily different, one for rubbing out pencil, and one for taking out the high-lights on wash drawings. High-lights taken out in this way are far from white, naturally, but it is easily the best way of giving a soft sheen to a piece of drapery, while ink eraser (otherwise useless) will do the same thing if the wash is done in indian ink. When you want to take out a line done in indian ink and do not want to draw another one over it, the best way is to use Process White, which resembles Chinese White to look at, but is conveniently sold in jars. When you want to draw a new line crossing one that is wrong, draw the new line before stopping out the old one with white ; this is better than removing the wrong one with ink eraser and attempting to draw a new line on the damaged surface.

For making any kind of rough drawing, and in particular for making the

Fashion Drawing Sections

Part-1 Part-2 Part-3 Part-4