Hatching an Apple in Ink

In this lesson I will be showing you how to loosely sketch an apple using form based hatching with a dip pen and ink.

You can work from life using a piece of fruit, or if you prefer, you can use the same reference as me: http://drawandpaint4free.artcoursework.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/PXL_20210926_160845388-scaled.jpg


  • Dip pen and drawing nib
  • Indian ink
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Eraser


  • Begin by using your pencil to very lightly sketch the outside of the fruit, stem and a suggestion of the shadow.
  • Then you can use the pen to lightly trace over the pencil sketch.
  • It may work well to use the nib on its side during this stage as that will give you a finer line.
  • Once the pencil sketch is traced over, you can erase the pencil lines and begin developing form using hatched lines.
  • Try to get these lines to follow the form where possible. As the apple is so round, this will rely on lots of curved lines that are denser nearer the shadow edge and lighter / less dense as the form turns to the light.
  • Some lines will run down the form of the apple and some will roll out of the edges of the apple. Where they cross will appear darker and reinforce the shadow. This is the best way to use hatching to create an impression of 3D forms.
  • You don’t need to be super neat – this is a sketch after all! Just have fun 🙂
  • Finish a with few darker accents one the shadow edge (you can make darker lines with the nib by using the flat of it and pressing down more so that the metal splits at the tip).
  • Look for any details as well (like the spots that I’ve drawn in).
  • That’s it, well done!