logo canson
logo canson

Tutorials and artistic advices

Acrylic: Shading with hatching or stippling

Twitter icon

Rate this article

Hatching and stippling: these two techniques allow you to create strikingly gradated, very "pro" effects!

Did you know?

  • Hatching: this involves hundreds of little, crisscrossing lines. The more an area is hatched, the denser the tone becomes. 
  • Stippling: this involves adding contrasting color dots and varying their concentration to create shading.


Acrylique - Les hachures

1. Hatching 


  • Take a very fine sable brush.
  • Use fine paint (transparent or opaque) in a darker tone than the under-layer of your work.
  • Draw lines vigorously and self-confidently. Your brush strokes should be consistent. They can be short or long, narrow or wide.
  • Apply your first color, let it dry, then add the second one.

Note: Hatching with acrylic paint is a delicate method that requires a lot of precision: be patient and keep practicing... Your efforts will be rewarded!


That little extra: for an easy way to create fine, parallel lines in color, use an old toothbrush with long, stiff bristles instead of your paintbrush.


Acrylique - Les pointillés

2. Stippling


Note: this technique can damage your paintbrush. 

  • Take a fine sable brush.
  • Choose contrasting colors (such as two complementary colors).
  • Dilute the colors with water. Make sure your washes are of the same intensity (a very bright color can overwhelm a pastel color).
  • Dip your paintbrush in the mixture, then hold it perpendicular to the painted surface. Touch the tip of the paintbrush to the surface. Repeat several times.
  • Apply your first color, let it dry, then add the second one.

That little extra: Painting just with dots really can be done! Go ahead and soak up some inspiration from the works of Georges Seurat, one of pointillism's great masters.


Suggested products

Canson® Acrylic

See also

Acrylic: Using the masking technique
Peindre à l’acrylique : Employer la technique du masquage
Whether you need to leave some white spaces, draw irregular edges, or on the contrary, straight ones… Masking is a solution that will make your life easier in a lot of situations!