The Basics Of Ink Techniques: Hatching and Cross-Hatching

Articles & Drawing Tutorials, 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 Basics Of Ink Techniques: How to Draw Beautiful, Expressive Lines

Articles & Drawing Tutorials, Drawing With Ink

In today’s article, I’ll show you how to create expressive lines that will help to convey your thoughts and ideas and transform them into amazing ink art.

We’ll also discuss the difference between a line and a hatch, and observe how to make your line work better.

Lines in your drawing are very important. They are responsible for the overall look and feel of the artwork, and the clear distinction between all the objects you depicted.

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.

In this series, we are exploring the pillars of ink drawing mastery: line, hatching, cross-hatching and contour hatching.

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:

Introduction to Dotwork (Stippling) Technique in Ink

The Basics of Ink Techniques: Hatching and Cross-Hatching

So let’s begin with the lines and everything that relates to them!

What Are Lines?

Let’s settle on the terms – to be sure that we’ll understand each other. 🙂

A line, in contrast to a hatch, is an all-sufficient unit in the drawing that has a distinctive feature and expressiveness (it may be perceived emotionally in some way – an aggressive line, a gentle line, etc.).

Lines usually vary in width, while hatches are uniform. That’s why groups of hatches work together so greatly – they don’t distract the viewer’s attention one from another.

Another difference is not a strict rule, but it is quite common: lines are, on average, longer than hatches – just because the lengthiness helps to tell a story. And a hatch is rather a small screw of the drawing system; grouped in hatching, they create an appropriate background.Lines often serve as contours in the ink drawings (I usually use lines exactly this way). They can be found in drawings of any kind, but where lines happen to be a core technique, is doodle art and coloring pages art.

How to Draw a Beautiful, Expressive Line?

You can use a nib, an ink liner (ink pen), a brush pen or a brush. Any tool has distinctive features; for example, to get control over brush pens or brushes you probably will need more time and experience.

Note: this article explains the main features and differences of named art supplies.

I personally love using pointed nibs and brush pens, because they allow me to vary the width of my lines – from very thin to broad – depending on how hard I press on the tool while drawing a line.

It’s hard to achieve a proper line variation with an ink liner (pen) because the width of the tip of your tool remains the same, no matter how hard you press. However, you get the best control with ink liner, this means – no surprises in the line quality.

You can also vary the angle of your tool towards the paper sheet and the speed of drawing – everything has an effect on the line’s appearance.

How to Draw With Black And Red Ink

Articles & Drawing Tutorials, Drawing With Ink

Black ink is an all-sufficient medium; it is elegant and laconic by itself. It seems, there is no need for anything else, right?

But sometimes you just want color. Does this mean that you should put aside ink and pens, and start a new art with paints?

The answer is no. You can use inks and ink pens of different colors or add bright strokes to your originally black and white drawing. It is fun, and today I’ll show you a way how to do it!

We’ll be creating a beautiful rose artwork. 🙂

Learning How to Draw With Ink (And Why This Technique Is So Wonderful)

Articles & Drawing Tutorials, Drawing With Ink

I often get questions about the ink technique; people want to know the basic steps of learning how to draw with ink or ink liners (meaning black and white graphics). Honestly, I find such questions amazing, so I decided to write a post on this topic.

My article is aimed mostly at beginners in the drawing, but I feel like the principles I’m talking about are common for various artistic mediums and different cases of starting something new.

The Magic Of Black Ink

You may ask “Why is it worth honing this particular skill? Why this medium?”

That’s a great point, thank you! Here are some of my reasons why I love ink so much.

How to Draw a Seahorse With Black and Grey Ink Liners

Articles & Drawing Tutorials, Drawing With Ink

My tutorial on the ink drawing technique published on Envato Tuts+ 🙂

There you can find out how to draw a seahorse from scratch, and follow my process of work with black and grey ink liners.For this artwork, I used Copic pens of black and cool grey colors.

A combination of black and grey colors is an amazing graphic tip – the drawings created in this technique have smooth, gentle transitions of value – and you can add as many details as you wish. Worth trying! 😉

Drawing a Rainbow Trout With Aquarelle Pencils

Articles & Drawing Tutorials, Colored and Watercolor Pencils, Video

Last week I had great fun creating this trout drawing, using the Staedtler Aquarelle pencils. 🙂 Although my priority is ink technique, sometimes I take a break or experiment with other mediums.

Here I have a full video process from a light pencil underdrawing to the final touches.

A slideshow of the main steps (please watch the video to get a better idea):

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The description of the process:

  1. I start with a pencil underdrawing. The lines should be barely visible, or the graphite may mix with the aquarelle pencils’ strokes and the colors will be messy.
  2. I apply several shades of beige and brown colors, and also add a little bit of pink to accent the natural coloring of the trout.
  3. I wash the existing color strokes with a wet brush.
  4. I let the drawing dry up a bit, and add the details of the fish. Be sure to leave the highlights, especially in the fish’s eye! 🙂
  5. Gradually, I increase the contrast and richness of my drawing, refining all the significant features more and more.
  6. I add the dark spots to the trout’s body. You may notice that I use both black and dark brown pencils – this helps to achieve a smoother, varied look of the coloring.

I hope you like the process and the result! 🙂 Thanks for watching!

How to Create Detailed Art With Ink

Articles & Drawing Tutorials, Drawing With Ink

I am often asked how do I achieve such a level of detailing in my ink artworks. I think, in some way, it’s a matter of personal features.

I have a strong tendency to imagine everything in small details and count up the finest things whatever I think of and do every day. Sometimes it can be tiring, but it’s just the person I am 😀

Some people tend to have a massive, solid way of seeing life and thinking – they, probably, will be great at expressive and impetuous manners of creating art.

I strongly believe that whatever feels more natural for you, trying something new and unusual can help in developing additional skills and activating new functions of your mind. Isn’t it great for the whole life, not only your art?


If you really like the idea of drawing something very detailed with ink liners, I have several propositions for you.