Drawing Techniques.


Hatching is a shading technique used to create, that implies shade, tone or texture. The effects are made by drawing closely spaced parallel lines.

The quantity, thickness and spacing of the lines will affect the brightness of the overall image and can emphasise forms creating the illusion of volume, thus the distance between the lines will determine light and dark areas. The technique is mostly used in drawings or sketching with pencil or ink and sometimes with paints and is applied quite quickly. The lines can be either long or short.


Cross-hatching is a further technique of hatching; hatching uses fine parallel lines drawn closely together to create the illusion of shade or texture in a drawing or sketch. Cross-hatching is the drawing of two  layers of hatching perpendicular to each other. 

However a number of layers can be applied in varying directions  to create tone and texture. Cross-hatching is a technique that is used in pencil drawings but also can be used with pen and ink. 



Stippling is a shading technique which uses nothing but dots to create areas of light and shadow.  For the darker areas of a drawing you apply more dots and closer together. For the lighter areas use fewer dots which have greater spaces between them. Stippling can be worked across a variety of media in particular pencil and pen and ink. Working with pen and ink offers a wide range of tonal effects that can be created from very dark to much lighter, tones should flow naturally into one another.


Scumbling is a shading technique achieved by overlapping lots and lots of small circles. The texture and tonal range created with this technique is determined by the size and quantity of the circles. Scumbling can also be created with more scribbly, spidery or loose type of lines, rather than little circles.

Contour Lines.

Contour lines are lines that follow the shape, they can be sketched in a number of different ways.  Contour shading is similar to both hatching and cross-hatching; the difference is that contour shading lines follow the shape of the subject or object. You can use contour lines for shading as in this example. The lines can be drawn horizontally, vertically or diagonally. The closer the lines are together the darker the tonal value.


  • When hatching with a pencil, you should avoid pressing too hard on the paper. This is because the paper will become scarred, especially with softer papers.  If any area is removed by using an eraser and then later you draw over it white marks, white lines or strokes will possibly be shown through.  
  • If the shadows are not dark enough despite closely spaced pencil lines, strokes, a softer pencil should be used. A softer pencil is made with graphite thus darker lines, for eg. 4B
  • Smudging is not necessary for hatching, tonal ranges should blend. 
  • When working with pen and ink it can be helpful to sketch with a hard pencil, for eg. 6H, beforehand, because every pen and ink line or stroke is permanent.