Drawing a Cat: Step 3
Start inking the key features first: the eyes and the mouth.
ESTABLISHING THE EXPRESSIVE FEATURES: As in any portrait, the eyes and mouth are the most expressive features. There is no difference in our drawing of a cat. These features should have a striking impact that lends a sense of drama to the image. This is done by using contrasting tones which are built up with layers of cross-hatching.
TECHNIQUE: CONTRASTING TONES. You can create a sense of drama in your drawing by using contrasting tones. For example, note how the cat's right tooth remains unshaded so that it contrasts with the dark tones of the tongue, whereas the left tooth is darkened to contrast with the light background. This technique, which is called a 'counterchange', highlights each tooth equally by contrasting it against its opposite tone.
Another tonal contrast is created by the background layer of hatching to the left side of the mouth. This is done to highlight the tongue and chin and thereby increase their dramatic impact.
Use hatching and cross-hatching techniques to suggest tone.
TECHNIQUE: CROSS HATCHING. This is a technique that you use to create tones with pen and ink. To create an area of tone you 'hatch' a single series of parallel lines. In order to deepen that area of tone you 'cross-hatch' another series of lines at a different angle over the first area. You can further darken the tone by 'cross-hatching' more layers while changing the angle of hatching with each subsequent layer.
The secret of good cross-hatching is not to overdo the number of layers. The darkest areas of your drawing should still have the sparkle of white paper shining through them while the lightest areas should remain untouched.