in such work.

Just as there are different kinds of technique, so each kind has its special uses. The particular technique to be employed in a drawing is determined mainly by the style of execution desired. That is to say, whether the drawing is to be in line, in line and wash, or wash. These processes are discussed in detail in Chapter V, but the point to be remembered is that one must know at the outset just how one is to finish a drawing before it can be commenced. In large, well-organized studios the artist is given fairly definite instructions as to how the job is required to be done. But in some studios, and when free-lancing, the choice of treatment may, to some extent, rest with the artist.

It will illustrate the point that the method of execution is governed by the technique if we consider the case of a wash drawing of a head. Here the technique employed may be to conventionalize tone values, and to depict the almost innumerable planes of the face in perhaps three tones. Some ultra-modern work is effective with only two, or even one tone. Clearly, this aspect of fashion technique does not apply to a line drawing, which has its own peculiarities.


There are, however, certain points of technique which apply to all kinds of fashion work, and the principal of these is figure

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proportions. Although these differ from the ordinary anatomical standards,1 it is not possible to lay down hard and fast rules regarding the extent of the variations. Like fashions, figure proportions themselves are a changing mode, seemingly dictated not by the fashions but by some mysterious influence like that which governs the popularity of film favourites. At the present time figure proportions are comparatively normal. The head goes into the body (that is, the full length of the figure) eight and a half to nine times. In an average person, of course, the proportion is about seven and a half to eight times. Skirts are given an elongated form; that is to say, the additional length of the figure is employed mainly to give long, graceful lines to the lower part. The neck is also lengthened slightly, so are the fingers and hands. The feet, obviously, are not exaggerated.

In fashion drawings of men the proportions are much more natural. The waist is slightly slimmed, shoulders are broadened, the head made slightly smaller. The figure generally is given a manly, athletic appearance. It may be mentioned, however, that very few women can draw men at all convincingly. One of London's leading artists puts the total number at two, of whom one, Dame Laura Knight, does not compete in the fashion field at all. Obviously, there is a chance here for the woman artist who can raise that number to three!


Deplorable though it may seem to the young student straight from art school, where originality is a tenet of faith, the "stock pose" is definitely a part of the fashion artist's technique. But this is not because fashion artists lack the sacred quality of originality. On the contrary, some are so original that studio managers not infrequently are reduced to strong words to explain that drawing, not original ideas on the subject, is the fashion artist's job. But it follows from the fact that there are only certain sorts of garments to be drawn (frocks, coats, jumpers, etc.), that there are certain

1 Some of the simple anatomical proportions are given in Chapter III.

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best ways of drawing them so as to make clear the particular features of each type, and show off the garment to advantage.

Fashion Drawing Sections

Part-1 Part-2 Part-3 Part-4 Part-5 Part-6 Part-7 Part-8 Part-9