The Basics Of Ink Techniques: Hatching and Cross-Hatching

Articles, Drawing with ink

In this part of the “Basics of the Ink Drawing Technique” series, we’ll talk about hatching and cross-hatching in ink artworks.

Basically saying, hatching is a body of hatches grouped together. The most important feature of hatching is similarity – we can see the unity and uniformity that is inherent to the lines as a whole.

Hatching is like a choir where every singer (hatch) makes a contribution on a piece of music.

So, let’s have a closer look at the hatching and cross-hatching techniques, and learn to apply them in your ink drawings!

This post is a part of the series “The Basics of Drawing with Ink.” I had to publish the articles of the series separately because there is just too much information for one.

Everything starts from those basics. You can build any texture in your ink drawing, and exactly the knowledge of the basics gives you endless possibilities.

You may also find interesting these parts:

The Basics of Ink Techniques: How to Draw Beautiful, Expressive Lines

Introduction to Dotwork (Stippling) Technique in Ink

Which Tool Is the Best for Hatching and Cross-Hatching?

You can create hatchings with almost any of the artistic supplies that are used in the traditional ink graphics. I prefer using ink liners (pens) because they give me the full control over the line behavior – this is great for achieving unity.

The choice of the brand of an ink liner is up to you; there are several well-known names that are associated with the high quality – Faber-Castell, Copic, Pigma Micron, UNI Pin, and others.

Some Faber-Castell ink pens from my artistic supply

You may also be interested in these articles:

Artistic Tools for the Ink Drawing

Learning How to Draw with Ink (there is a part about the art supplies)

The Anatomy of Hatching

Hatching can consist of strokes that are going in any direction – but this direction is common for all the lines united in the hatching.

For example, this is a hatching sample consisting of the vertical hatches (drawn from top to bottom)……and this one is an example of the horizontal hatching (lines are going from left to right):The sample below is an inclined hatching. The hatches can be continuous or gapped.


Tips and Tricks of Hatching

The closer the hatches are to each other (the smaller is the distance between them), the more increased value in the drawing you get (this means, the object you are drawing becomes darker).

To include some additional hatches into the existing hatching, you can place the new lines in the gaps. This kind of accurate hatching made of the even, parallel lines, resembles the old-masters engraving style.

Or your hatches can be a bit spontaneous. This one (below) looks so different from the sample above!

How to Make a Cross-Hatching

Creating a cross-hatching sample, basically, means layering groups of hatches.

For example, here I have a simple hatching shape that consists of vertical parallel lines.I place a new layer of horizontal hatches on top, so we get some kind of a net.And plus another layer of the inclined hatching:Plus one more layer of the inclined hatching, for this time, the lines are going into a different direction:

One more layer of the vertical hatching:And another layer of the horizontal hatching. Our sample is almost black with the tiny gaps between the hatches, but if we wanted, we could darken it even more.This kind of the cross-hatching is also known as “refined” – the point is in creating this beautiful layering of the uniform lines when you just see this lace-like thin net of hatches.

It looks more beautiful when is made with a thin liner or pen (my sample above was made with a relatively wide 0.5 liner, so it has a bit rough look)

Creating a cross-hatching process (feel free to Pin this image):

And here is a video with the hatching demonstration:

How to Advance in Your Hatching Skills

I have only one solution for you: practice, practice, practice and again practice 😀

For example, you can take a sheet of paper, the creative tool of your choice (a nib pen, an ink liner, etc.) and just hatch, using any spare minute.

Make short, long, straight, curved hatches; then create different layers of hatching and observe the effects you get.

I recommend you keeping a careful check on the accuracy of your lines; it is much simpler to make spontaneous, a bit chaotic strokes when you actually have a formulated hatching technique. Sloppiness isn’t cool. 🙂

And, of course, it’s crucial to draw a lot – to find a way for our creativity and constantly growing skills.

Don’t just exercise for the sake of exercising.

The Examples of Hatching and Cross-Hatching in the Ink Drawings

Let’s observe the fragments of my artworks – they have a plenty of hatching and cross-hatching examples.

The first one:

In this fragment, hatches help me to shape and sculpt the objects. They accent the shadows and participate in the process of the textures’ creation.

The groups of hatches on the food objects looks pretty alike – this does its share for uniting the whole artwork. Otherwise, I could get a piece where all the elements looked weird because of the competing with each other for the viewer’s attention.

By the way, there is much contour hatching in this fragment; we’ll talk about it in the next article of “The Basics of Drawing with Ink” series.

Another example:

In this artwork, I used hatching and cross-hatching mostly to create shadows and visually separate the objects.

Hatching and cross-hatching work excellent for filling up space. With the groups of short hatches, it is possible to make an illusion of a subtle texture that looks nice but doesn’t have an effect of obtrusiveness.

The more layer of strokes I have, the darker is the object in the drawing.

Increasing the value and contract in the drawing always affects the overall mood of the art piece.

That’s all for today. Thank you for being with me! 🙂 If you have questions or feedback, please let me know. I also very appreciate if you like/share this article/follow my blog.

And in the next post, I’ll tell you about the contour hatching and its role in the ink drawings. See you soon! 😀

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