The wash drawing, whilst it may be reproduced almost as readily as line work, has a much wider application. Except that actual colours are absent and may only be suggested by their relative tone values, half-tone is adequate for the portrayal of any

subject, and suggests form in a manner not easily achieved by line effects. The disadvantages, from an advertiser's point of view, are the higher costs of the original drawing and reproduction, and the limitations on its use imposed by the necessity for a fairly good paper and a slower rate of reproduction than line. For newspaper or other cheap work, such as handbills, only bold half-tone work is really suitable.

For a cheap reproduction where a half-tone effect is required, the line and wash combination is very suitable: indeed, the original use of this style was for newspaper fashion work. It gives a good, clean outline, and at the same time the simple use of tone is helpful in indicating colour contrasts and the pattern of materials. The use of line and wash has been elaborated of recent years, and although obviously it is not truthful drawing, in some of its modern and decorative treatments it has a considerable use and vogue.

The demand for colour is strictly limited by the expense, and consequently there are only certain opportunities for its employment. Catalogue covers, showcards, and advertisements or "editorials" in the better-class periodicals are its principal uses, although with the modern advance in colour reproduction the demand is being steadily widened. The use of colour line, although not colour work in the accepted sense, is also increasing, since it gives good colour effects at a lower cost than the colour half-tone.


Wash is the most plastic of mediums. It may be used in a wide variety of styles, from the purely photographic, where every gradation of tone, every roundness and plane, are shown, to the bold and massy treatment which presents only two or three major tones. Nevertheless, one may broadly divide the treatment of wash into three sorts tight, loose, and medium; and of the styles likewise one may say there are the simplified, the naturalistic, and the decorative. While each style of wash has its special uses, it is more correct to say that each has its own exponents. It is therefore of little use to explain how each different effect is achieved, or

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to enlarge on the superiority of one treatment over another; and only some general remarks on the application of wash will be offered. The point for the student to bear in mind is that whichever particular style she feels attracted to she should endeavour to understand before attempting to emulate it. To know what one is aiming at in a wash drawing is the battle half won. Before starting a job one should always consider just what is the most suitable type of wash and board for the particular figure or garment to be drawn. For example, if a homely cretonne overall covered with detail is to be illustrated for a wholesale merchant (who wants the pattern shown), a fairly finished style of work will be needed. The detail would be difficult to draw with any exactness on a rough board, so a "not," H.P., or smooth board should be used.

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The whole art of a wash drawing lies in the proper relation of the various tones. Most beginners' drawings suffer from being too "all-overish." So many drawings are mediocre, too, because they are not sincere. If it is decided to simplify the planes and make a bold drawing, that plan must be steadfastly followed throughout. Strive to perceive the true masses of light and shade, and understand what is happening to the subject under the particular conditions. When that is understood, it should be put down in the quickest way possible, concentrating on the drawing, not on how it is being done. Incidentally, the sketch, even as a first outline, should be a translation of the masses to be depicted, not merely an outline of a silhouette. On the other hand, if a more detailed drawing is wanted one must put down everything that is there, provided it is truth.

With wash it is essential to know what one is going to do when one has the brush full of paint. If the form that is to be painted has been decided, the actual technique of putting on the wash is simple. The fatal thing is to start a wash drawing not knowing what to do next, mussing with the paint, and hoping for something to "come." By putting the paint on quickly and directly, the appearance of hard edges is avoided, the drawing is more convincing, and the whole job is much more attractive.

As regards the pencil sketch, it is important to remember to make the lines clean, but neither deep nor finicky. If the pencil is dug in, woe betide the work when it comes to putting on the wash! For ordinary work an HB or B pencil is to be preferred; it gives a bold, swinging line. For small delicate drawings one may use an HH; but for working large a hard pencil should not be used; better to draw lightly with a softish pencil lightly because soft pencil is difficult to erase.


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