Rethinking my method of learning how to (cross) hatch.
This morning I remembered reading a site about improving your handwriting. The site advised to go back to basics and start over with practicing to draw a hundred A’s, a hundred B’s etc. just like the way you did it in school when you first where taught how to write.
I never tried it because nowadays I hardly use any handwriting.
But it would be a good way of practicing hatching. Drawing a lot of horizontal lines instead of filling a grid with hatched lines and using more time turning the paper then actually hatching.
Thinking about method also gave me a clear picture on the level of skill I should aim for.
Until now I thought it would be sufficient if I learned to draw the lines the right length but it isn’t. I should get enough skill to (cross) hatch with the same ease as with which I’m type this article. (Cross)hatching lines should become as easy as touch typing.
I’ve been told that people with autism have problems learning new skills because we take more time to automate a skill. Personally I’ve always found that to be a big advantage. I never have the problem that I have to unlearn some skill because I learned it the wrong way the first time round.
But if you have the bad luck of not being autistic then this is a time to pay close attention to what you are doing.
Ink hatching 2
There isn’t a right and a wrong way to (cross) hatching as long as you get the job done, but there is an easy and a not so easy way. The problem being that what is easy for me doesn’t necessary have to be the easiest way for you. you’ll have to experiment a little.
I found that there are a few things you can vary to make hatching easier:
- The length of the line. (I’ve found that practicing hatching becomes much easier if you start with shorter lines.)
- Do you work towards your (drawing) hand or away from it. (I’ve found that for me it’s easier to work away from my hand even though that means that my pencil partially covers my work.)
- In what direction do you draw. Upward or downward. (I started drawing downward but after gaining some experience I use both.)
- The angle of the paper. (I’m scanning this practice drawing in the angle I drew it. I’m right handed.)
- Drawing speed. (I found that drawing faster made it easier do draw straight lines. Which might mean that if you want to draw curved lines it could be easier to draw slower.)
- How much pressure do you put on the pencil. (The type of pencil you use has some influence on this, but I found that less pressure is easier.)
(Oh, the fun of writing an English blog if English isn’t you mother tongue:
Doubting whether cross hashing is one word or two word I looked it up in my dictionary and couldn’t find it. So I went on searching the word on Google, like I always do when my dictionary can’t help me.
Only this time I found that the word isn’t (cross) hashing but (cross) hatching. Sadly my spell checker didn’t save my from this embarrassment because “hash” is also an English word. Only thing is that it has nothing to do with drawing.
I’ve used the word hashing both in a few articles and in a few titles. I can’t change titles without breaking links that I have set up from other sites to these articles. I could change the spelling within the articles but I’ve discovered that if I do that people who follow this site via my rss feed get these articles again.
Still practicing my hashing technique.
The last time I tried to hash with ink I found the line to be rather wobbly. But after trying it again today I found that my technique for hashing pencil also works with ink. You just have to draw at speed.
Not overshooting the mark is still a problem but it is clear that with practice it’s slowly improving.
Drawing lines that where a bit shorter also helped.
Ink hashing 1
Continuing my hashing practice.
A few days ago I found that it is quite difficult to draw straight lines while hashing. Today I filled a grid with only short straight lines and showed some progress.
It’s a lot easier to get the lines straight when you draw them fast. Which results in the new problem that it is much more difficult to stop the line in time. I tend to either over shoot or stop to early.
I have to practice a little more.
One thing I did find is that it is easier to work away from yourself then towards yourself: Being right handed I tend to work from left to right. That way I get a good few on the lines I’ve already drawn.
But for some reason I found that with drawing short straight lines it’s actually easier to work from right to left. Even though that means that you can’t see the earlier lines that well because you are blocking your sight with the pencil.
Gray scale hashing 3
BTW I also figure out why I had the problem that white paper after scanning looked pink.
I found that if you don’t use the gamma control the white turns a little gray. If you do use the gamma control the white turn pink.
Apparently you should only use gamma control when you have colors in you drawing.
Trying to get an even color by hashing.
Usually when I draw with color I find that you get to see a lot of lines. I’ve never been able to spread the color evenly over the paper. But yesterday when I was hashing with gray pencil I found that I could spread the pencil evenly about the paper.
So today I’ve tried whether I could get the same kind of result with color pencil.
I’m not completely satisfied. Although you can’t see it very good in the scan I still see a lot of color variation within one square.
Quite possible that it’s just a case of getting enough practice. So I went back to hashing with gray.
Here I also found that the gray scale varies within squares. But I stayed within the lines.
Color hashing 2