Draw Smooth Hatching

Train drawing with smooth hatch technique.

Train Drawn With Smooth Hatching

smooth hatch exercise

Smooth Hatch Exercise

An example of what you will be drawing in this lesson.

A huge part of drawing is simply learning how to make the pencil do what you want it to do, and this lesson is designed to help you do that.


HB pencil
Kneaded eraser
Smooth drawing paper or Bristol Board

Before You Begin

  • Draw five one inch squares. (It may be easier to make a block of six like I have.)
  • Keep the pencil sharply pointed during the exercise.

Step One – Single Layer Hatch

  • Hatch a layer of graphite in the first box, but do it with only one layer of graphite.
  • Keep a light writing grip on the pencil — about one or two inches above the point.
  • Fill the box with back and forth motions creating swaths of graphite about one half inch wide. Fill the box with several swaths of hatching, instead of one big one.  You’ll be able to see their edges, and that’s ok.
  • The hatching movement should originate in your elbow and not your wrist. Your hand and arm should swing just off the paper from your elbow. (You will be able to make this motion for longer periods as you practice more.)

Step Two – Once Again

  • Do the same thing in the second square. Give some effort to blending the swaths together more. You should see some improvement but if you don’t, that’s OK.

Step Three – Blend The Swath Edges

  • Fill the third box with one layer of graphite again, but this time blend the edges of the swaths into each other by overlapping them a bit. You can do that while you’re drawing or afterwards.

Step Four – Hatch Layers

  • Fill in the forth square using as many hatch layers as you like.
  • Use the sharp pencil tip to even out light streaks by touching them lightly until they blend in.

Step Five – Use The Eraser

  • Fill in the next square the same way you did the last one.
  • After you touch-up the light streaks, pinch the kneaded eraser into a point and gently tap out any dark smudges and spots.
  • If you make any areas too light, fill them back in with the the sharp pencil tip.
  • My fifth square looks lighter and smoother than the others because I took out the dark streaks and smudges. Try for a similar result.

You probably found this exercise challenging (and a little dull), but practicing simple drawing techniques like this teaches you control and makes any technique easier.

Practice is the key to good drawing.

The train at the top of this page was drawn almost entirely with this method.

These tulips show the difference between smooth and un-smoothed hatching technique.

Tulip With Un-Smoothed Hatching

Tulip With Un-Smoothed Hatching

Tulip Smooth Hatching

Tulip With Smoothed Hatching