Criss-Cross, Applesauce

CC AChildren in pre-school or early elementary grades are apt to sing a clever little song these days, all about sitting “criss-cross, applesauce” and putting “spoons in the bowl.” What it means is to sit on the floor cross-legged with your hands in your lap.

Learning to sit quietly is an important skill for young children, and while I don’t have any applesauce to go along with today’s post, learning to use criss-cross lines is an important skill to develop for ink drawing.

Fortunately for uncoordinated artists like me, criss cross lines are much easier to draw than straight contour lines or parallel lines. They’re wavy, they’re curvy, they’re careless, and they’re fun!

Having said all that, I’ll still have to admit that I’m not great at drawing any sort of lines in ink, but here’s a look at two of my quick practice pieces with criss cross lines.

Scan_20200907 (7)

Criss-cross lines are useful for many things: hair, a patch of weeds (as I’ve drawn above), bits of grass, or moss growing on trees. As with other types of lines, the look of criss-cross lines can be varied by using different types of pens. And, as always, criss-cross lines can be drawn closer together to indicate shaded areas.

So for today’s ink practice, I’m just having fun. I think I might sit on the floor, criss cross, applesauce with my sketchbook and pen and just draw lots of squiggly little lines.


    1. That would be good to do. So far, all the ink drawing classes I’ve seen or read about focus on precision. That makes it really hard for me. My own drawings are much more spontaneous — a lot of scribbles!

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