I want to add hatching to my charcoal drawings. But vine or charcoal pencils are very soft so the hatching lines become way too thick.

What do artists use to create beautiful charcoal hatching?

Is it possible to do the hatching with pencil?


1 Answer 1


You can use the sharp edge of your charcoal for finer line work: on a break in the piece or along the edge of the flat area created during shading, or sanded down for this purpose. Renew the edge you are using often to keep it sharp. A rectangular style charcoal may work better for this.

Of course, any stylus based tool can be used to make hatch marks, so yes to using a pencil. Go with a soft one (B4 for example) so it matches the charcoal's tone.

Or you could go with a harder charcoal. One that may not be good for shading because it is too hard would do well for thin line work as long as it doesn't tear the paper.

  • Harder charcoal, how do I get that..?
    – Rye bread
    Nov 3, 2020 at 20:39
  • Where are you getting your charcoal? Artist's charcoal, including vine, comes in different hardnesses. If you are making your own, or using cooking charcoal, you could try different wood types I suppose. The latter will unlikely ever be good for drawing though.
    – rebusB
    Nov 3, 2020 at 20:43
  • In addition: charcoal comes in different sizes. Pick very thin ones. Not only will the lines they produce be naturally thinner, they will also force you to draw very lightly, as otherwise they might break. This is key to hatching properly.
    – Joachim
    Nov 5, 2020 at 7:28

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