Weekly Art Challenge: Crosshatching 2

Crosshatching on an arm

The object of the exercise:

After completing the first crosshatching challenge  I realised that cross-hatching is harder than it looks!

I watched Alphonso Dunn’s tutorial on cross hatching and copied his method stroke for stroke. I was pleased with the results at that stage.

But then I tried drawing a nose from scratch with less pleasing results.

So I figured I needed something less demanding, something less distinctive than a facial feature, at first I thought combining the basic volume shapes would be a start, but then I came across another Alphonso Dunn video for cross hatching an arm.

This looked like just the thing. It didn’t matter too much if the proportions were wrong and it had less distinctive features than a face. And there’s a lot of different curves flowing into each other.

The challenge

The challenge is to follow the video and do a version of the cross-hatched arm.

In the video Alphonso talks about using a  fountain pen and varying the thickness of the line. I don’t bother with that though,  at this stage, as it’s just the basic cross hatching technique that I want to practice and I just use (a rubbish) ball point pen.

The first thing that struck me was that you could view the arm like a map, the lightest areas are the tops and the darkest areas are the valley bottoms. So the first thing I did was sketch out roughly the “hills” and “valleys” of the arm.

Contour lines of arm

Contour lines of arm


Then I copied this version with the peaks and troughs pencilled in lightly. Then with reference to Alphonso’s drawing in the video I slowly started to fill in the contour lines.

I was pleased with the result.

Crosshatching on an arm

Crosshatching on an arm

What I learned

The idea of mapping out the surface as hills and troughs helped.

Go slow, don’t rush.

Following the contour of the volume is important.

Next time I want to try and use more curved contour hatching that emphasises the transition from one surface to another.

The actual outline of the arm is a nice shape too, I don’t know what Alphonso’s reference was but it was a good choice and I think that helps the overall image.

The next step

I think the next step is to continue with some more curved surfaces, not faces, yet; maybe more body parts.


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Posted on: September 19, 2017