guide to hatching techniques
Drawing Ideas

Guide To Hatching Techniques

Learn to hatch simple objects and you can draw fast. You can sketch anywhere and it will even give you a good headstart to understanding values, tones and eventually painting. One of the shading techniques in the art of drawing is known as hatching. Hatching is those thin lines that show tone, texture, and shade within a drawing. Hatching involves filling in the relevant areas using a series of thin parallel lines of varying lengths. The number of lines applied and their closeness determine the strength of the shadow. This also gives the illusion of different degrees of shadows. While it’s most commonly employed in pencil and pen-and-ink drawings, painters also sometimes utilise this technique in painting to achieve texture.

Let’s have a look at some of the different hatching techniques.

1. Parallel or Linear Hatching

Despite its simplicity, hatching is nevertheless a very efficient method to demonstrate values (light and dark) in a drawing. For this technique, parallel lines are arranged in tight rows. The area with hatching will be a darker or shadowed region in a drawing, while the remaining area will be lighter. To create value changes, increasing the density of a collection of hatch marks will make the region look darker.

Another tip with hatching is to consider leaving small, irregular gaps between the strokes. Irregularly spaced gaps and strokes that overlap create interesting patterns. The lighter and closer together the ‘lines’ are; when viewed as a whole, they will be overlooked and instead considered as an area of shade in the drawing.

linear hatching techniques
Linear Hatching Techniques

2. Cross Hatching

Values can be accentuated by using cross-hatching. This method has a few nuances that are commonly missed. Keep an eye out for right-angled cross lines, as well as those with more acute angles.

Cross-hatching can be done by creating an additional layer of lines that are drawn in an opposite direction to the linear hatching strokes. After applying the first layer of hatching lines, the second layer is placed at a right angle above the first, covering the same surface area. When sketching with ink, crosshatching creates the appearance of deeper tones using fewer lines.

Cross-hatching technique
Cross Hatching Sketch by @nikkhopkar

3. Contour Hatching

Rather than drawing parallel lines, contour hatching involves wrapping the lines around a surface to create the illusion of curvature. In other words; using lines to trace the contours of the subject. This technique helps with enhancing the impression of volume and three-dimensionality of the object you are creating.

Contour Hatching
Contour Hatching Sketch by @hilmi_khairullah

4. Scribble Hatching

Scribble hatching – or scribbling – involves making groups of small, overlapping circles or squiggles to create a rough texture. Scribbles can be layered on top of one another to darken a particular area.

Scribbling is an excellent way to add values and texture when drawing certain objects, such as trees or hair. Practice scribble hatching to create the leaves on trees and surrounding grass.

Scribble hatching technique
Scribble Hatching art by @aula.sketchart

5. Woven or Basket Hatching

When used correctly, this type of hatching creates a highly dramatic visual effect. Small sets of markings in one direction are used, followed by a group of parallel markings roughly perpendicular to the first. A carefully executed weave appearance is achieved by crosshatching the lines, which creates extra density.

Woven Hatching
Woven Hatching Sketch by @senior.zeichner

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