If you want your wash drawing to reproduce its true value in a magazine which is invariably printed in black on a white paper, use only white paper for your original. A faintly coloured paper cannot reproduce as white. A drawing done on grey paper, with touches of white on it, is a different matter, and reproduces very effectively.

Always use Process White for stopping out: Chinese White contains lead, and is inclined to photograph too dark.

Some magazines are using photogravure a great deal for the reproduction of half-tone. Its chief merit (that of being able to be printed on a matt paper) and the process by which it is done, need not detain us, save to remark on the sickening chocolate effects of the printing ink usually in favour. As far as your drawings are concerned, if they are suitable for reproduction by half-tone they need no adaption for photogravure.

Colour is not very generally used for fashion work in this country. Often a drawing reproduced in colour in the American and French editions of a paper appears in black and white in the English editions, which does not, of course, involve the artist doing two drawings of the same subject, one in colour and one in monochrome. Without great loss of effect a coloured drawing can be reproduced in black and white, provided it be photographed on a panchromatic plate, which gives each colour its true tone value. Red, photographed on an ordinary plate, appears far darker than it really is ; blue, far lighter. Several illustrations in this book are reproduced from coloured originals (pi. 15, 30, 38, 40, 41, 43 and 44, among others).

By three colour process any coloured drawing can be well reproduced, for it is possible to get very near to the colours of the original by photographing it through filtres and printing in yellow, blue and red. When you want to introduce into the picture a black more dense than can be obtained by a combination of these three at their strongest, it is necessary to use the four colour process, having a separate block for the black ; and even where black does not appear as such, it is often used, in a very diluted form, to tone down or make richer, some of the other colours. When a particularly subtle or unusual colour combination in an original calls for it, a special tint can be used. An artist may use two utterly different reds in his drawing, say vermilion and magenta. In the ordinary way the block maker would attempt to differentiate between them by printing over his primary red, in the one case a faint tone of yellow, and in the other a faint tone of blue. But if this fell far short of the artist's idea, a special tint would have to be used for the more elusive red. In the same way certain blues and greens, or a contrast of brilliant blues (when absolutely essential and otherwise unobtainable) call for a special tint for one of them ; while a bright emerald green can in no way be got by a combination of the primary blue and yellow. The total number of colours, however, must be confined to four.

On the rare occasions, then, when you are doing a drawing that is to be reproduced in full colours, you can be certain that the reproduction will give a true facsimile of your original only by making use of simple clear colours when mixing your palette and by avoiding like the plague such (almost irresistible) shades as violet and emerald inks. Gold or silver can be one of the colours in the two, three, or four-colour process. Gold or silver plates are always made as solid surface line blocks. When a drawing has been made, as they sometimes are,

on gold or silver paper, three colours can be used, as this only makes four printings, the gold or silver being a solid plate.

The foregoing applies to colour work that is to appear in a shilling magazine (as advertisement or cover) or in a catalogue. There are numerous sixpenny and threepenny magazines that use colour extensively, but in a different way, with line and colour. The means by which this is reproduced (Ben Day process, or mechanical tint process) is entirely different from three-colour process. The line drawing is treated exactly as if there were to be no colour, the tints being applied later. Obviously, then, if the line drawing is to be photographed as such, there must be no wash of any kind on it, as all colour (except a pale blue) would photograph as some tone or other. The way to prepare an original which is to be reproduced by Ben Day or by some other mechanical tint process, is to do the finished line drawing and indicate the colours on another copy, preferably on transparent paper, as it can then be placed over the line drawing for identification. Some people like you to do, as well, a rough sketch indicating what the finished reproduction will look like, but this is not really necessary. If the spaces of colour to be applied are very simple it is enough to make pencil notes of them in the margin of the line drawing. All their tints (like the mechanical tint in the line drawing) are laid by hand, so do not make the edges too complicated.

I think that it is unnecessary for a fashion artist to know more, at any rate at first, of the process by which his drawings are reproduced.

Fashion Drawing Sections

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