Thursday, August 10, 2023

Paula’s Hatching


8/4/23 Green Lake

A few years ago I wrote about how learning of an artist’s death had motivated me to finally start teaching again (unfortunately, COVID happened, and my workshop, along with the whole USk workshop program, was cancelled). That artist and teacher was Paula Ensign, and one of many things I admired about her work was her elegant ink hatching style. In a unique and distinctive way, she combined hatching with watercolor that showcased both her exquisite drawing skills as well as a sophisticated painting method.

I think about Paula whenever I make hatched sketches of trees. I used to think that organic subject matter like trees and other plants needed to be hatched in an organic way, or it wouldn’t look natural. Yet Paula used a fine, vertically hatched line even with natural subjects, including gorgeous trees (which was to be the topic of her workshop that she never got a chance to teach).

8/5/23 Maple Leaf neighborhood

It’s not at all my style to make the neat, consistent hatched lines that Paula made, but I’m also not at all fond of my own messy, scribbly hatching that I tend to do, especially for trees. I’m trying to practice a balanced middle ground that conveys an organic, natural look without degenerating into sloppy scribbles.  

8/7/23 Maple Leaf neighborhood
Although I still regret that I missed my opportunity to learn from her, Paula goes on teaching those of us who remember and appreciate her work.

8/9/23 Green Lake neighborhood


  1. This is an interesting hatching method...and it looks good!

    1. Thanks! I'm going to keep practicing to make it look as organic as possible.

  2. I am really interested in seeing how your hatching develops going forward! Thanks for sharing Paula and her wonderful art.

    1. Thanks, Cathy! Maybe I should do hatching as my Inktober theme this year... that would give me a solid month of practice!


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