How to use hatching and crosshatching with ink?

Recently I have been trying to learn some new media, and ink is one of them. I love what some people can do with it, both modern comicbook artists and old masters. I would love to achieve effects similar to what Durer did, for example like this: Durers autoportrait

I cant really find any useful info on how to do that. The youtube videos I watched on hatching with ink were all about shading spheres and boxes, small ones I might add. Not very useful, when I tried to apply it to a portrait.

What are the guidelines for learning and using ink for portraits and similar art? Are there any good resources on the topic? Where should I be looking for them?

While someone corrected me in the comments, and told me the work I posted as an example of what I want to achieve is an engraving, it is still doable with a pen and ink – it’s all black lines, and black lines are what pens do really well. I would like to ask for answers focusing on the drawing with ink aspect and ignorign the engraving thing – I have a quill dip pen and i want to learn how to hatch to get the threedimensionality and awesomeshade gradation that Durer’s pieces have (ignoring how he made them). A less awesome example of how I would like to draw is this:

face ink cross hatching stanta ink cross hatching

The thing that I like about the Durer example is that it has light tones that arent pure white. The others show a lot of white – especially the Santa example has blazing white cheeks and nose right next to pretty dark shades. I like the softness of shade gradation in Durer’s autoportrait.

How can I learn shading this way? Are there any guidelines? Could you recommend any resources to learn from? Or maybe you could instruct me on how to learn this in an answer?


The main problem we are having is that the image was achieved by drawing with white, so you are asking how to simulate the “not mark making.”

In any event, white or black, the defining feature of this work is the line weight variability, where the expressiveness of the lines is created by a relaxed pressure on a carving tool.

You will need to figure out how to specify a line and then sketch around that line. Perhaps use a pencil, then fill in with ink where there is not pencil, and then erase the pencil.

If you use black paper and white ink or go with Stan’s idea, you will achieve the look you want directly.

For white ink, you need a tool which will allow you to modulate line weight, such as a dip pen (aka fountain pen or quill dip pen).

A decent fountain pen is a pleasure to work with BTW.

As a sort of zen side note: why is a pencil or ink required in order to be a drawing?

Source : Link , Question Author : K.L. , Answer Author : horatio

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