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Creating Tones and Textures with Pen and Ink

 

Apply tone with cross-hatching and stippling.

Apply tone with cross-hatching and stippling.

The technique of cross-hatching is used to apply tone to those parts of the buildings that are in shade. Cross-hatching begins to establish the overall form of the image. The shade of a tone can be increased or reduced depending on the number of hatched layers applied: a lighter shade is achieved with a single layer of hatching, while each additional layer darkens the tone.

It is advisable to build up the tones gradually across the entire image rather than completing the drawing in small sections. This way you are more able to achieve an overall tonal unity throughout the composition.

 

Adjust hatching and stippling to balance tones.

Adjust hatching and stippling to balance tones.

Once you have established the basic areas of dark and light, you can start to unify the overall tone of the drawing by fine tuning your cross-hatching and stippling. You may need to intensify the hatching and stippling of certain areas in order to balance the different depths of shade throughout the composition. You can also refine the sharpness of the detail and the subtlety of the texture with a more careful control of your cross hatching and stippling.

 

Use dark tones for the windows.

Use dark tones for the windows.

After some further tinkering with the tones and textures across the image, the ink drawing is finally completed by darkening the windows. This adds to the solidity of the buildings by suggesting their interior depth. The windows in a drawing of a building are nearly always dark. The one time they can appear bright is at night when they are illuminated from within.

 

Overall Unity of Tone and Texture

The objective in balancing the elements of this or any other drawing is to ensure that all the lines, shapes, tones, textures and patterns work together in harmony, with each element contributing its strengths to the overall composition, without overpowering the qualities of the others.

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