Practice: Crosshatching
Practice: Crosshatching
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The Shading Course

Module 7 - How to Show Form

Practice: Crosshatching


Practice: Crosshatching



In this project, you'll sketch John Asaro's planar head and shade it with crosshatching.



  1. Follow along with the video.
  2. Sketch the planar head.
  3. Upload your result.

Meet these Challenges

  • Follow the steps of the drawing process.
  • Control the tonal value of each plane with the darkness and spacing of your hatching lines.
  • Indicate the subtle curvature of the forms by keeping your hatching lines slightly curved.
    (This indicates vitality! Perfectly straight lines do not feel organic.)


This project should take 15–30 minutes to complete. 


Common Mistakes

1) Over-Rendering

Keep it a quick sketch, and, more importantly, shade with crosshatching, rather than smooth rendering.

2) Sloppy Value Groups

Make sure the value relationships between shadows, dark halftones, and light halftones represent the effect in the reference image. In the left image below, there is too little contrast between the dark halftones and the light halftones. In both images, there is too much contrast between the shadows and the dark halftones.

Further Resources

Alphonso Dunn has great demonstrations of crosshatching on his YouTube channel.

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Former program director at Barcelona Academy of Art. Passionate about teaching craft and exploring the inner game of art.
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