The crosshatch drawing technique is an excellent way to add shadows and texture to drawings with depth and a realistic finish. Create dynamic drawings with this art school basic that’s perfect for sketching with pens, pencils or markers.
- Paper or sketchbook
- DeSerres precision markers
How to create tone with crosshatching lines
Draw 5 equal-sized boxes on a sheet paper or cardstock. In the first box, draw parallel horizontal lines that are very wide apart. In each consecutive box, draw lines that are closer together than in the previous box. The lines in the last box should be very close together.
Now draw vertical (perpendicular) lines in each box, maintaining the same distances used for the horizontal lines. From very wide apart (1st square), draw lines that get gradually closer together until they are very close (5th square). This is the basis of crosshatching and its infinite shading possibilities.
Now use this basic concept to draw a series of lines without boxes. Start with vertical lines that are closer together and end with lines that are farther apart. Draw a series of diagonal lines using similar spacing. Draw as many intersecting lines as you need to achieve the desired tone or shading. No need to use a ruler! The lines can be as messy or as straight as you wish. The type of line you draw will give a different feel to your final image.
The lines don’t always have to be straight. Try drawing curved lines that follow the shape of the object you are drawing. Remember to keep the lines farther apart where the light hits the shape and closer together where the object is in shadow. Happy hatching!
Varying the point size of your pen will also help you achieve tone through thicker and thinner lines, try these techniques together.