Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Scone-Fortified Ballpoint Hatching

2/16/16 ballpoint
The last time I experimented with a ballpoint pen, I didn’t do much hatching, which is pretty much the only way to get any shading with it. This morning at Zoka Coffee, I let myself warm up with my favorite and familiar fountain pen (bottom of page). Then I spotted a few people with strong shadows on their faces, which I knew would be helpful in my next exercise. After a break to munch my scone and let my brain shift gears, I got out a four-color ballpoint.

Hatching looks really harsh and unattractive on faces, at least the way I do it; I was wincing the whole time I was sketching. Still, I’ve seen it done well, even on faces, so I know it’s only a matter of studying those drawings in which the hatching is done well and – you guessed it – practicing. Using a wash of ink for shading is so much faster and easier, but I know that hatching is teaching me more about shaping a subtle contour with line only.

2/16/16 ballpoint
By the way, I’ve upgraded my ballpoint to a four-color Uni Jetstream, which has less tendency to blob than the “hotel” Bics, and the mechanism is smoother than the classic four-color Bic I was using earlier. As long as I’ve got four colors in one pen, I’m also seeing if I can cheat with hues to help with the shading. (An added benefit of the four-color pen over Bic sticks is its larger diameter, similar to my favorite fountain pens, which is more comfortable.)

2/16/16 ballpoint
2/16/16 ballpoint
2/16/16 fountain pen, colored pencil

2/16/16 fountain pen, colored pencils


  1. Nice sketches both with the hatching and the ink washes. I personally prefer the ink washes because they are so smooth. I have a hard time just hatching something too. Maybe I just don't really like leaving the stark marks no matter how closely I hatch...but then I do admire it when people do it on their own work. lol

    1. Thanks, Joan. I was just looking at some beautiful hatched drawings by Nina Johansson, and her technique gave me something to work toward! Hatching is definitely challenging.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...