What is Hatching?

Hatching (hachure in French) is an artistic technique that involves drawing (or painting or scribing) tightly spaced parallel lines to generate tonal or shading effects. (It's also used to signify the tincture of a "full-color" emblazon in monochromatic heraldic representations.) Cross-hatching refers to the placement of lines at an angle to one another.

Hatching is particularly significant in essentially linear mediums like drawing and several types of printmaking like engraving, etching, and woodcut. Hatching first appeared in Western art throughout the Middle Ages, and it evolved into cross-hatching, particularly in fifteenth-century old master prints. In engraving, Master ES and Martin Schongauer were pioneers, and in woodcut, Erhard Reuwich and Michael Wolgemut were pioneers, with Albrecht Dürer perfecting the technique of crosshatching in both media.

In drawing, linear painting, and engraving, artists utilize the technique to modify the length, angle, closeness, and other properties of the lines.


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