Re: Drawing a dog with black fur
What Elizabeth told you is exactly right. The dog is not dead black. Nothing with shape is flat black. Light flows over the curves and angles, changing density where it is reflected back to you. Every hair has a shape, and the light flows over that tiny shape. What is dead black to you is actually a shadow of the individual hair. If you look closely at a live black dog you will see many colors on that animal.
I would not use cross hatching to depict the hair. The way I would go about it , depending on whether it is short haired dog or long haired animal, make a stroke in the direction the hair is going, a short one or a long one if the hair is long. Fill an area with these strokes, then with the point of a kneaded eraser, make random strokes the length of the pencil strokes. Make more pencil strokes and more eraser strokes until you have hair. this will create shadows and lighter and darker hairs. works every time. this requires patience and takes a little time, but works every time. Remember there are large areas of lighter and darker patches of color where the planes of the body turn into and away from the light . Some spots might actually appear to be white. Nothing in nature is completely black, unless you are drawing a black dog or cat at midnight with no moon.
Also remember, that to have dark, you must also have light.
Good luck. Let us see that dog when you are finished.
I draw. I paint. Therefore I am!