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Fine Liner Drawing Techniques

Learn about fine liner drawing techniques showing the different ways you can create shade, depth and interest with fine liner shading. Learning about when best to use these shading techniques depending on your drawings sizes, subject and speed. Explore different ways Callum Hewitt has applied with techniques to his work and how you can make more visual interest in your drawings from detailed and personalised fine liner drawing techniques.

Vertical Hatching: Used on the Florence Duomo Drawing, the vertical hatch is perfect for capturing the transition between light and dark in areas of your drawings. The Vertical hatching fineliner drawing technique emphasises height in this part of the drawing and these hatches can be curved and contoured to show the form of the building of subject drawn. Try to avoid this hatching styles if you are using a variety of vertical lines to create the form of the drawing as this hatching can interfere with your form as it may be difficult to separate the purpose of the fine liner lines in your drawing.

Free Hand Cross Hatch: A playful and fast hatch which is perfect for smaller drawings, smaller parts of a drawing or a quick sketch. Crosshatching is perfect when you want to create separation between vertical/horizontal elements while still creating a beautiful hatch. In the Heyder Aliyev Cultural Centre Drawing, the cross hatch is used so that the hatch does not clash with the vertical and horizontal components of the window framing. The space between hatching can be made smaller/ larger to create areas of shade and areas of light. To add further shade to the technique, a vertical hatch may be used over the crosshatch as seen on the Heyder Aliyev Cultural Centre Drawing to show areas of shade, shadow and the reflections of the trees etc in the surrounding landscape.

Stippling: Using ‘dots’ which are concentrated/spaced apart in spaces to show light and dark. The Super Lambanana fine liner drawing is the only Hewitt Sketches drawing to feature the effect as Callum prefers the stippling technique to be used on smooth monotone surfaces such as the smooth yellow Super Lambanana. You can see the saturation of the dots in the technique around the ear, the bottom of the legs and the ‘tail’ of the Lambanana which are places of shadow or shade. It is key to distinguish between shadow and shade as shadow is darker, crisper and cast by another object as seen by the ear of the Super Lambanana. Whereas shade is lighter and can be gradual depending on the drawing, as seen on the legs of the Lambanana. This differentiation helps with all the hatching techniques, especially the stippling fine liner drawing technique.

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Straight Cross Hatch: Using a ruler, this crosshatch fine liner drawing technique is more rigid, more time consuming and can be made tighter than the freehand technique. Due to the ruler, the hatches can be made tighter while allowing minimal space between each hatch. Whereas in freehand, lines may cross and interfere with one another creating a unevenly shaded surface. This is Callum Hewitt’s most used technique due to its precision, control and aesthetic, it allow for surface to be darker than the free hand alternative and is therefore useful for dark facades as seen on the RIBA North Drawing. The crosshatching technique also does not interfere with the windows in the façade created with vertical and horizontal lines that the vertical hatch would do. Hence creating distinction between the windows and the façade.

Free hand Diagonal Hatches: ‘Left Hand’ and ‘Right Hand’ hatch: The two fast diagonal hatches can be used alone or in conjunction with one another as seen on the Dancing House Drawing. ‘Left Hand’ Hatching goes from top left to bottom right and was characterised and exercised by Leonardo Da Vinci. Whereas Right Hand hatching is more commonly used and goes from Bottom Left to Top Right. On a diagonal hatch, one tends to move towards their body and depending on the drawing hand, this goes one of the two ways. This, however, does not mean that someone who is left handed cannot right hand hatch and vice versa, it is just less natural and harder for them. The Dancing House Fine Liner Drawing uses the two diagonal hatches, along with other hatches, to suggests the different colours of the glass panes and their separate nature. Also, this adds visual interest and complexity to the drawing. Again these hatches can be made lighter/darker by minimising/increasing the distance between the hatch lines

Straight Diagonal Hatch: The same as the prior hatch fine liner drawing technique besides these line like the Straight Crosshatch technique are more structured, time consuming and aesthetically pleasing. The drawing of the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool also shows the diagonal hatches being used in conjunction however, they are take up a different function. These hatches along with showing the shades of the different panels, they also suggest and emphasise the direction of the different panels which make up the top half of the façade.

The Scribbling Fine Liner Drawing Technique: An extremely free and liberating technique which relies of areas of repeated lines to create light and darker areas. This technique is great for fast sketching and is easy to create and great light to dark gradient. Here is a quick sketch made by Callum Hewitt of the ‘Liverpool Mountain’ Art installation. This quick sketch shows the loose form of sketching and shading to show the materiality of the rocks and the shade on the underside of them as well as the shadows they cast on the cobbled ground.

Free Style Hatching: With all the skills talked about in the previous hatches, why not try creating your own hatching technique? This makes your drawings unique, full of character and adds depth. Here is one that Callum Hewitt created using the ideas discussed, including minimising/reducing the distance between lines to create areas of light/dark. The varied directions of the lines add texture and emphasises verticality due to their orientation. The thickness of the lines are also changed to further enhance the distinction between areas of light and dark. This all creates an interesting fine liner drawing technique with a lot of character. These hatches are best for drawings which lack in detail, as this detail and depth can be added with a unique and interesting hatch.

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