Line Quality: Cross-Hatching

by | Dec 5, 2017

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cross hatching, two self portraits by Rembrandt

Cross hatching, two self portraits by Rembrandt


Cross-hatching is a common line quality that is similar to hatching, but slightly more complex. It involves drawing parallel lines in two different directions so they overlap each other. This is a way to create shading with graphite pencils, pens, colored pencils, pastels and even ink or watercolor washes.


Here are some pros and cons of the method of cross-hatching as a way of creating shading in a drawing. Try this method of mark making with a few different materials (pen, pencil, pastel) and see where it is best used for you.


For regular images of cross-hatching, you might follow American Antiquarian on Instagram. This library showcases images from books, cards, newspapers, etc. from early American history and always entertains. Many of these older techniques use hatching and cross hatching in their images.


cross hatching drawing of an apple by LZM Studio

Cross hatching drawing of an apple by LZM Studio


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