Cross-Hatching Drawing Techniques

Written by mark stansberry
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Cross-Hatching Drawing Techniques
Fabric design can use single, double and triple line cross-hatching. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

There are an infinite number of ways to draw cross-hatched lines. However most cross-hatching techniques use only two or three sets of parallel lines. Each set of parallel lines has a unique slope (or angle) so that they will intersect or crisscross. Artists also use sets of curved lines when they cross-hatch. This allows them to match the curve of the cross-hatching with the curve of the form.

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Single Line Cross-Hatching

Single line cross-hatching is a set of strokes that is composed of a set of parallel lines or parallel curves. Architectural drawings will often use only a single line cross-hatch. This is done because it takes less time, but still allows shading in order to give a sense of depth to the drawing.

Double-Line Cross Hatching

Double line cross hatching involves two sets of parallel lines. Each set of parallel lines has a different slope and the sets intersect with each other. Double-line cross hatching is often used along with single line cross-hatching. In these cases, darker shadows are shaded with double-line cross-hatching, lighter shadows are shaded with single line cross-hatching, and the brightest areas are not shaded at all.

Triple Line Cross-Hatching

Triple line cross-hatching features three sets of parallel lines. Each set of parallel lines has a different slope. Triple line cross-hatching is used to add more shades of grey or black to a pen and ink, pencil or coloured pencil drawing.

Curved Cross-Hatched

Drawing curved cross-hatching requires that you draw two or more sets of parallel curves so they will intersect each other. Just like straight-line cross-hatching, the higher the number of line sets, the darker the shadow and the more variations in shading you can obtain. Curved cross-hatched lines are often used for the construction of and drawing lace and laced fabric dresses. They are also used to shade spheres and curved 3-D objects, such as anatomy forms.

Multicoloured Cross-Hatching

Multicoloured cross-hatch techniques use different colours for each set of parallel lines or curves. Pencils with different shades of grey, colour pencils with different colours or ink pens with different shades of ink can be used. Because the technique requires numerous drawing instruments, it can add to the drawing time. However, the level of shadow and light control is much greater than the traditional forms of cross-hatching.

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