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Difference Between Sketching and Drawing

Sketching vs Drawing

In the field of visual arts, sketching and drawing are two of the important methods of expressing oneself in an artistic manner. Many people remain confused about differences between sketching and drawing and talk about them as if they are one and the same. Though both sketching and drawing are means of expressing oneself, there are many differences between these two terms that will be explained in this article. Sketching is a process of creating pictures using pencils and charcoal only, using shades of light and dark. Technologically speaking, sketching is free hand drawing that is made using multiple pass lines to create a picture with minimum of details and a lot of suggestions. Drawing on the other hand has more details and is made using pencils, crayons, pastel, markers etc to give more effect. Drawing makes use of tools to create single pass lines that are more neat and clean than a rough hand sketch.

Artists resort to a sketch to have a quick record of a momentary experience. It is another thing that many sketches of famous artists have become so popular that they are appreciated more than their other drawings. For an artist, a sketch serves as a raw material for something more substantial later on. Sketches are done with a casualness that is not found with drawing. Drawings are begun with more fore thought and planning than a sketch would never get. An artist may have a sketchbook where all his hasty sketches are stored and never see the light of the day. They are used later to come up with masterpieces of drawings. Drawings are always the final, finished product while sketches are preliminary attempts to catch a beautiful scene or an experience.

Artists make sketches to work out possibilities and to look for best composition. Sketching is more about capturing an essence rather than lingering over details. However, sketching is an integral way of practicing for an artist. As an activity, sketching serves to keep drawing skills sharp all the time. Drawing is more careful, planned and slower than sketching. An artist can take his time to think about details and keep on refining the picture for as long as he desires which is not possible in sketching which is a free hand drawing without using any tools and even eraser.

In brief:

• People talk of sketching and drawing in the same breath which is incorrect as they are two different means of expression for an artist.

• While sketching is free hand drawing that focuses on capturing the essence rather than going into details, drawing is slow and more careful expression that makes use of tools and uses colors also.

• Sketching is done using pencils and charcoal only.

• Sketches often serve the purpose of a beautiful drawing later on.


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