VCU Libraries Gallery

Scotland Yard Detective, Page 37


Scotland Yard Detective Page 37, Charles Vess Papers M374.jpg
Scotland Yard Detective Page 37, Charles Vess Papers M374.jpg
Title: Scotland Yard Detective, Page 37
Creator: Vess, Charles
Date: 1987
Source: VCU Libraries, James Branch Cabell Library, Special Collections and Archives, Charles Vess Papers M374.
Publisher: Concept art for the book Time Machine #17: Scotland Yard Detective, that was published by Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group.
Description: There are roughly eight different types of shading that are often used by artists, hatching, cross-hatching, contour-hatching, contour cross-hatching, diverse hatching, stippling, scribbling, and ink wash. This work is an amazing example of the variety of these line applications that can be found in a single piece.
The first and most obvious of this is the diverse hatching that is found all over the surface of the central building. Diverse hatching is where short lines are drawn one over another in irregular patterns. This differs from regular hatching, found in the straight beams over the door and in the rooftops, which is simply a series of straight parallel lines. Normal cross-hatching appears over the lamp post in the middle left, where the tiny regular grid-like squares grow so close together it is hard to distinguish individual marks. Contour hatching, best seen in the cut ends of the building’s beams, is characterized by curving lines that follow the contour of the object they represent. On the jacket of the man walking into the building, the little dots that shade the garment are examples of stippling. Finally, the stones in the foreground, the sky above and the edge of the building on the right hand side are all ink washed to appear as a completely solid contrast to the activity of the rest of the page. The only types of shading not used in this work are contour cross-hatching and scribbling. Contour cross-hatching is when the grid-like arrangement of lines flows along the contour of a drawn form, while scribbling is a random unbroken line that loops over and around itself.
Which shading techniques an artist choses is often due to personal preference. An entire piece could be shaded in ink wash for example, or you could have a work like this Charles Vess where nearly all are used.
Original Format: Drawing
Physical Dimensions: 8 1/2 x 14 inches
Considering Comics
Vess, Charles, “Scotland Yard Detective, Page 37,” VCU Libraries Gallery, accessed May 27, 2024,