Learn Hatching and Cross Hatching

EniBogdani123CC BY-SA 3.0
via Wikimedia Commons

What is Cross Hatching

Have you heard that a pencil and a dream can take you anywhere? 

Yes, in the field of art the pencil works so magically. And when you use the colour pencil, the dreams become colourful. Here we shall talk about the colour pencil. And a special feature of a pencil: Hatchin and Cross Hatching.

Cross-hatching is a method of using a pencil in a specific manner. While shading with a pencil, you can use this style of drawing and produce excellent texture.  It also produces an added value to the pencil drawing.

This pencil technique of hatching is applied when an artist wants to do some linear type of work. In linear artwork, hatching and cross-hatching create harmony in the entire drawing. It helps in developing an oil painting on its basis. On a white paper, the simple criss-cross of the parallel lines is drawn to trick the eyes. Our eyes see the tones and volume in the drawing. This style of drawing creates a feeling of depth. It makes the art piece look voluminous.

In the painting given here, the artist has very nicely used the art of cross-hatching. The use of a set of the colour pencil is eye-catching. The viewers' eyes would feel the volume. We can see the play of light in this colour drawing of a Coffee Cup. The art of putting lines and not putting lines, that what cross-hatching is. It has created this wonderful piece of final colour pencil drawing. The coffee Cup drawn here is a wonderful creation of light and depiction of volume with a feel of three-dimensional effect.

Why the hatching is done? It is just an overlapping use of pencil shading. Drawing lines over the lines. In opposite direction.  It would help us to see the three-dimensional effect, especially in the shading. This can would be a value-addition to drawing or a portrait. Using a black graphite pencil or coloured pencils would be a good guide for further painting. 

When the cross-hatching is done with the use of a colour pencil, it produces a pleasing pattern. The hatching adds value to the drawing. Every artist works to implant the illusion of the form. He or she uses several art techniques, this hatching technique by the pencil is one of them. If the hatching is done by using a colour pencil, it certainly generates a feeling of volume. The drawing would be more appropriate for further work like oil painting or acrylic painting. The play of light can be illustrated efficiently if the cross-hatching is flawlessly done.  

Veronica, 1513    Albrecht Dürer,

The hatching work by master artists  If such type of work is done by a high school student or an art class student, it can create confidence in doing a good piece of art. Even a learner in the pencil drawing can handle the crisscrossing of black or coloured pencils in this manner. What you require is the soft handling of the pencil. It is because your hand is softly moving, that it allows you to have room for corrections. 

Here in this masterpiece work done by the well-known painter Albrecht Duer. He had excellently used the technique of hatching. He used to do such primary work for his final woodwork and engraving. Look at the drawing. Here he had created many darker areas in the basic drawing. he had just put lines over lines. This illustration can be perhaps one of the early works in the style of cross-hatching art. 

By applying this technique of hatching, an artist enjoys freedom. He or she has the freedom to create texture and value in the drawing. After the hatching and cross-hatching are completed, the illusion of form and feeling of the areas covered with the falling of the light would be more prominent.

Thomas Alva Edison - Scientist
Scanned by User: LA2 in October 2005

Look at this simple drawing. It is a simple portrait of a great man. A great scientist. Yes, Thomas Alva Edition. Look how great he was: he said, after being successful in his number of failures in inventing the electric bulb; and ultimately being successful. 

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." -  Edison

Here in this portrait, the artist had used the excellent lining work, and cross-hatching technique. It will make a pretty good result just by putting the lines in a criss-cross manner. It will suffice to compose an artist-grade pencil drawing; it can be a landscape drawing, an object drawing or a portrait making. 

If you are a beginner artist, you can also do such work. It only requires coordination of the movements of lines. When the lines are put very closely, it creates a darker value in the drawing. When the lighter shades are to be shown, you can put the blackness of the paper as it is, if the paper is white. Or you can use a lighter shade of an artist-grade pencil for creating a lesser light area. It creates volume, too. The main thing is doing practice. Do practise and get the value created in your work.

Albrecht Dürer, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The lines and shading will create and add value to your pencil work. One can use this technique in high school classes. It can be useful if you have enrolled in a drawing and painting institute.  If you put in hard efforts and maintain your artistic zeal, the use of a technique like cross-hatching would make your drawing much better.

Look at the painting given here,. It is the study of one of the masterpieces painted by the great artist, Albrecht Duer. It is a wonderful illustration of the method of crisscrossing lines. See how the volume is generated. Look how the feel of the light and darkness is created by cross-hatching.

If you are ready to do constant practice, the eye-catching form of the play of light and darkness can be discovered. It is similar to our handwriting. You know how we can improve handwriting with constant practice. The end result of primary hatching will certainly create a roadmap for creating the illusion of volume and light. You know, these two are the important feature of an artwork. 

Here you have seen that the work of a colour pencil, applied in a specific method, can create a wonderful result. You have to apply a pattern of lines on white or coloured paper. The areas of light are shown by some left-out portions on the paper. The volume is created by putting dense and criss-cross lines. The light and dark shades can be created by giving more or less pressure on the pencil strokes. Thus the shading will generate the volume. It will result in a show of the play of the light creating magic on a piece of paper.

Albrecht Dürer, CC0, via Wikimedia Common

This art is so versatile that an experienced artist can draw landscapes, portraits or drawings of any imaginative object. So it is worth trying. Look at another piece of art done by the master artist Albrecht Duer. In this painting, we can see the superb use of parallel and cross lines. It generated the shape and the volume in the painting. 

This work of  Albrecht Duer is a remarkable illustration of the cross-hatching technique. Thus putting one line above another, with an artistic vision would surely succeed in creating a wonderful piece of pencil drawing or painting. 

For those who have joined creative art classes, this technique of hatching and cross-hatching can be good going in the beginning. It can certainly boost the confidence level. It can invent an artist in you. Hatching and cross-hatching are wonderful art techniques. It is worth trying.

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