Drawing and sketching are two elements of art that meet on the horizon on a bright sunny afternoon, when it becomes difficult to gauge where the ocean ends and the sky begins. But, like Da Vinci’s sfumato, these two art forms gradually transition into one another; there are a few aspects than can make one understand their difference a little better.
Drawing is the one of the most basic of art forms. From the time mankind dwelled in caves, its thoughts have seeped their way into its surroundings and etched their mark on the walls of its habitat. These drawings, till date, have been instrumental in helping us gain an insight into the primitive human’s life. The evolution of written scripts, which are nothing but miniscule drawings, is a phenomenal demonstration of what we can achieve by capturing our visions and imprinting them on an external surface, visible to all. It would thus be impossible to estimate the importance of this craft. Drawing is the nutrient that a child’s imagination feeds on. Drawing is a salve that soothes a troubled soul. Drawing is a mirror to an artist’s mind. Drawing is an expression.
Sketching is a skill that constitutes the foundation of any new creation. It is used to quickly preserve something (it was used in wars to record events). A sketch, thus, is about being in the moment and capturing something, and therefore it is like a manually created photograph. Sketching is also a way to understand form, shape, perspective and volume of an idea before the thought passes on. It is the first step towards a longer journey. The journey could be the creation of a piece of clothing, a building, a mechanical / electrical / electronic device and much more. Sketching is also used to create elaborate art using different compositions.
One of the two important factors behind the development of these skills is keen observation. It is the key that unlocks all the other aspects like contours (outlines), value (the balance between light and darkness), shading and colour contrast (chiaroscuro) in the mind of the artist. Observation is the medium through which an image traces the path through the eye of the artist, its mind, fingers, pencils, before permanently settling on the canvas.
Another vital element in these art forms is the tools used. A variety of pencils (different thicknesses, levels of darkness, compositions, colours) are available in the market and there is no end to the varied illustrations an artist can create with a single pencil. However, there are many other tools like charcoal and ink pens, which are widely used in both drawings and sketching. Evolution of this craft though, took its biggest leap when it broke the confines of a canvas and went digital. The contemporary artist is no alien to a stylus.
Mastering Drawing and Sketching:
The primary learning of both drawing and sketching generally go hand in hand. We offer a few programs for basics in drawing and sketching which eventually advances you to gain an in-depth understanding of each phase of the process. Click here if you wish to view our courses.
Once you have learnt the basics of sketching, you are open to a wide array of disciplines within art and design that you could further your practice in; be it as a hobby or even as a career.
Whatever way you choose to use your skills, the world will continue to benefit from the curves and slants, the dots and dashes, the greys and yellows and hundreds of other shades that will continue being imprinted on paper.