The principal mediums used in fashion drawing are line, wash, and colour; with a fourth, which is a combination of the first two, termed line and wash.


A line drawing is a drawing consisting entirely of lines of one colour, or of lines and solid masses of colour of the same shade and depth as the lines. The term "line work" generally means drawings in black on a white ground, but it also embraces any similar arrangement of one colour on a plain ground, whether the colour be black, red, green, or blue, provided it can be reproduced by the line process.

A wash, or more correctly a half-tone drawing, is a monochrome with any number of tones ranging from black to white or when a colour other than black is used, from the deepest shade of that colour to white. The expression "half-tone colour" is used to describe coloured monochrome work.

In studio terms a colour drawing usually means a drawing employing the whole range of colours and tones which can be reproduced by the three-colour process. When work which requires only two, or more than three colours is in question, it is usually qualified by a reference to the number of colours employed; for example, "a two-colour drawing."

Line drawings are reproduced by means of "line blocks," and colour drawings by "colour blocks." But in speaking of the reproduction of wash (and line and wash), the term "half-tone" is used; "wash" is simply a studio expression, and means nothing to the blockmaker and printer. Some technical notes on the reproduction processes are appended; they should be carefully studied

Fashion Design Drawing - Wash Line Color 1.jpg

by the artist in order that she may know the possibilities and limitations of her work.



Line drawings are the cheapest to reproduce, half-tone somewhat more expensive, and colour very expensive, particularly where extra colours are used. But there are considerations other than cost which determine the choice of medium. For highspeed reproduction on cheap paper, as for example in newspapers, and for simple presentations such as drawings of patterns, line work is particularly suitable. And although a drawing which has only one tone must lack something in the way in which colour contrasts and form can be conveyed, most effects can be suggested, if not actually achieved, by the skilful artist.

Fashion Drawing Sections

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