Illustrator Cross Hatching

In this tutorial we will be emulating cross-hatching using some effects and the blend tool. The tutorial is pretty straight forward and gives you lots of places to make your own variations.

1. Change colors to Black for the Stroke and None for the Fill. Change the stroke weight to .5pt
2. With the line tool, draw a vertical line about 2 inches high
3. With the line selected go to the EFFECTS menu > DISTORT & TRANSFORM > TRANSFORM. The key to making this look realistic is to make subtle adjustments, as if you were trying to keep the lines as straight as possible but there was some variation due to the fact that you are a human and not a robot. Change the vertical and horizontal scale to 101% and 99% (you can even use a decimal point for say 101.5% if you like). Under Rotate put in between 2 and 7 degrees depending on how varied you want it. Set the origin to the bottom and then check the Random box, this will ensure that every instance that is made with the blend will be varied.
4. To add even more realism to the crosshatching we’ll roughen it up a bit using the EFFECTS menu > DISTORT & TRANSFORMATIONS > ROUGHEN. Make the settings very low 1% for Size, 1/in for Detail and make the points Smooth.
5.Select the line with the Black Arrow, Alt/Opt drag a copy over the left about 3 – 4 inches
6. Select both lines and go to the OBJECT menu > BLEND > BLEND OPTIONS. Change the Spacing to Specified Steps and put in a number 200 to 300 – we can edit the blend after the fact to change the spacing.
7. Go to the OBJECT menu > BLEND > MAKE BLEND
8. If your results need adjustment you can select the blend object (both lines and the stuff in between them) and go back to BLEND OPTIONS and change the number of steps.
9. If you want to adjust the transformation of the lines, select one of the lines with the white arrow and open up the Appearances Panel (WINDOW menu > APPEARANCES) and click on the Transform effect at the bottom, this will open up the Transform Effect window and you can make your refinements. You can adjust the roughen settings as well.
10. Make a copy of the blend object and use the Rotate Transformation tool to rotate it 90 degrees and overlap it on top of the original blend.
11. To change the proportion of the blend, select the blend object with the Black arrow and move the handles on the bounding box (the bounding box needs to be on VIEW menu > SHOW BOUNDING BOX – it’s typically already on by default)

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