A thin line will do the opposite, making the figure appear light and ethereal. A line that is important in fashion drawing is called a nuanced line. A nuance is a slight or subtle change of meaning, and a nuanced line is one that changes subtly from thick to thin or from dark to light.

Nuanced lines are used to express the quality of light. Light, as already mentioned, reflects off flat surfaces but does not bend, so when a surface bends away from the light it moves into shadow. A nuanced line is able both to express areas of the body that are flat, and therefore well lit, and also areas that bend away form, and therefore do not receive light. Areas in light are indicated by making the line outlining the edge of the area thin, and areas away from the light by making the line thick, indicating shadow. A nuanced line is thicker round the chin, armhole, waistline, crotch, elbow, knee, and ankle. areas where the body bends into shadow, and thinner along the flat planes – the length of the arm and leg, the outside curve of the hip, the side of the neck.

A nuanced line is made by pressing down on and lifting up on the pencil with one fluid movement. The line should be made in one continuous movement to appear smooth and elegant. (When making lines, a common mistake is to move the pencil slowly down the page with little strokes, called chicken scratches. This is a definite “do not to” as it gives the illusion of texture as opposed to the outline of the figure.)



  1. Practice drawing and shading spheres, cubes, and cylinders. Use the full range of values of dark and light and show highlights, cast shadows, and core lights.
  2. Fill a page with lines of different weight and thickness.





For more information and guidance on drawing glamorous evening wear please refer to Colors for Fashion, 9 Headsand Face Fashion. SHOP