The theme for this week’s 52-week Illustration Challenge is cross-hatching. I really struggled with this because, while this is supposed to be an illustration challenge, I’m participating by writing a poem on each week’s topic – a picture in words, if you will. But cross-hatching is a specific illustrative technique, and hence not so easy to write a poem about. I did have some ideas along the line of overlaying the words so they were cross-hatched, but struggled with how to do this.
Anyway, after lots of false starts I came up with a pretty rough little rhyme about cross-hatching. Here it is:
I’m cross about cross-hatching
Cos I don’t know what to do.
I’m scritching and I’m scratching
My head and I’m feeling blue.
I’m cross about cross hatching
Cos it’s really hard to write.
My poem isn’t matching
In the way I’d hoped it might.
There. A poem about cross-hatching. But then, a little miracle happened.
I attended a session at the Perth Writer’s Festival on Sunday where awesome young illustrator Gabriel Evans (who just happens to be the illustrator for my forthcoming verse novel, Roses are Blue) was presenting . Anyway, Gabriel drew a snail on the whiteboard and commented that snails could have lots of different patterns on their shells – stripes, spots, squiggles. and so on. Suddenly, a little voice in my head said ‘cross-hatching!’
So, back at home, I had a go at drawing a snail, trying to remember how Gabriel did it. When that failed, I found an online tutorial for how to draw a snail: here. It took a few goes, but I drew a recognisable snail. Then for the cross-hatching. I had thought I would just cross hatch part of the shell – which is kind of the point of cross-hatching – to create shadow and contrast. But I found that it didn’t really work that way, plus cross-hatching is fun – so I did the whole shell. And, for the shadow effect, decided more cross-hatching was needed.
So, from someone who doesn’t draw, here is my attempt at cross-hatching:
Not planning on giving up my day-job any time soon, but am a bit proud of myself for trying something new.