This section is from the book "Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography", by J. B. Schriever. Also available from Amazon: Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography.
Draperies. When soft goods, such as chiffon, etc., are used for draping the figure, the material, being so soft, the folds are not very conspicuous. A little work on the folds with a BB pencil will supply both high-lights and catch-lights, thereby accentuating the shadows. If this does not give the desired effect, the shadows may be still further accentuated by scraping in slightly with the etching
knife or by using the reducing paste, the latter being applied with the stump.
448. Before applying the etching knife or pencil make a deep proof from the negative and use this as your guide. You can then more readily tell how much to accentuate or reduce. Whenever in doubt as to the effect produced, make another proof-print and compare with the first. These proofs should always be filed for future reference.
Outlining The Figure. There are many cases where the portrait, and especially the three-quarter length, of a fleshy person may be greatly improved by removing a portion of the outline of the figure. Often the photographer, either through carelessness or lack of knowledge of proper posing, will place a stout person so that the body faces almost directly front, and this really exaggerates the size of the individual. Even when correctly posed to diminish the effect of stoutness, most pictures of stout people are improved by cutting down or reducing the figure. In Fig. 1, of Illustration No. 28, is presented a picture of a stout subject and although correctly posed, the appearance is yet too stout and should be very materially reduced. Fig. 2 shows that the outlining was first done with the etcher on the white waist and the pencil on the dark skirt. The next step was to etch away the waist outside of the outline and to pencil in the skirt to match with the background. The final result is illustrated in Fig. 3 of this illustration.
450. The principal considerations for reducing figures are: Follow the lines of the figure and produce graceful curves. There is plenty of opportunity to exaggerate to the extreme and, in doing so, to ruin the picture entirely. It is better to cut away too little than too much, yet stout persons usually are better satisfied when they are made to appear more normal and the judicious use of the etcher will therefore often make a much more pleasing picture.
Adding Drapery. One of the most difficult tasks performed with the etching knife is the constructing or adding of drapery to a figure. There are times when one may have a satisfactory likeness of the face, but the picture
is condemned on account of the subject being gowned in decollete and thus unsatisfactory in this respect. With drapery added to such a negative the picture would perhaps be entirely satisfactory. While the making of these changes requires some time, yet any results may be produced by proper care and with the use of the etching knife and pencil.