Sketch (drawing)

Sketch (drawing)

A sketch (from Ancient Greek "σχέδιος" - schedios, “‘made suddenly, off-hand’”, from "σχεδιάζω" - schediazo, “‘to do a thing off-hand’”) is a rapidly executed freehand drawing that is not intended as a finished work, often consisting of a multitude of overlapping lines. If in oil paint it is called an oil sketch. Sketches usually serve to quickly record ideas for later use. Sketches are inexpensive and allow the artist to try out different ideas and establish a composition before committing to an expensive and time consuming painting or fresco. Sketching sharpens an artist's ability to focus and has often been a prescribed part of artistic development for students.

Dry media such as pencil or pastel are often preferred due to time constraints, but a quickly done watercolor study or even quickly modeled clay or soft wax can also be considered a 'sketch' in the broader sense of the term. Graphite pencils being a relatively new invention, the artists of the Renaissance could make sketches using the expensive method of a silver stylus on specially prepared paper (known as silverpoint), with results similar to a modern pencil sketch, or, more cheaply, using charcoal, chalk, or pen-and-ink.

Contrary to popular belief, artists often use erasers when drawing; the eraser may be used to remove rough construction lines, or to soften lines for visual effect. The most commonly used eraser for pencil drawing is the kneaded eraser, which has a soft, sticky surface that enables the artist to lift the graphite or charcoal from the drawing surface without smudging. White plastic erasers can cleanly erase line work, but tend to smudge heavy shading.

The sketchbooks of Leonardo da Vinci and Edgar Degas are two examples of many done by famous artists which have become art objects in their own right, although many pages show more thoughtful studies rather than true sketches.

The ability to quickly record impressions through sketching has found varied purposes in today's culture. Courtroom artists are usually sketchers. Sketches drawn to help authorities find or identify wanted people are called composite sketches. Street performers in popular tourist areas often include artists who sketch portraits within minutes.

A sketch method of reproducing photographs is done with a photographic enlarger in a dark room. The negative image is projected on the paper where the sketch is to be done. All the light shades are penciled until the paper is all the same shade.

ee also

*Courtroom sketch
*Study (drawing)

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sketch — may refer to:Drawing and other visual arts * Sketch (drawing), a drawing or other composition that is not intended as a finished work, but a preliminary exploration. * SketchUp, a 3D modeling program. * iSketch, an online drawing game. * Sketch… …   Wikipedia

  • sketch — rough drawing intended to serve as the bases for a finished picture, 1660s, from Du. schets, from It. schizzo sketch, drawing, lit. a splash, squirt, from schizzare to splash or squirt, of uncertain origin, perhaps from L. schedium an… …   Etymology dictionary

  • drawing — /draw ing/, n. 1. the act of a person or thing that draws. 2. a graphic representation by lines of an object or idea, as with a pencil; a delineation of form without reference to color. 3. a sketch, plan, or design, esp. one made with pen, pencil …   Universalium

  • Drawing — For other uses, see Drawing (disambiguation). Male nude by Annibale Carracci, 16th century Drawing is a form of visual art that makes use of any number of drawing instruments to mark a two dimensional medium. Common instruments include graphite… …   Wikipedia

  • sketch — n. drawing 1) to draw, make a sketch 2) a composite sketch 3) a rough sketch short essay 4) a brief, thumbnail sketch 5) a biographical sketch * * * [sketʃ] make a sketch thumbnail sketch [ drawing ] to draw [ short essay ] a brief a bio …   Combinatory dictionary

  • sketch — n 1 outline, diagram, delineation, draft, tracing, plot, blueprint (see under SKETCH vb) Analogous words: design, plot, *plan, scheme, project: *chart, map 2 précis, aperçu, *compendium, syllabus, digest, pandect, survey sketch vb Sketch, outline …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • sketch´er — sketch «skehch», noun, verb. –n. 1. a rough, quickly done drawing, painting, clay model, or design: »The artist made many sketches in pencil before painting the portrait. 2. an outline; plan: »Give me a sketch of his career. SYNONYM(S): draft,… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Sketch based modeling — is a method of creating 3D models for use in 3D computer graphics applications. Sketch based modeling is differentiated from other types of 3D modeling by its interface instead of creating a 3D model by directly editing polygons, the user draws a …   Wikipedia

  • sketch in — ˌsketch ˈin [transitive] [present tense I/you/we/they sketch in he/she/it sketches in present participle sketching in past tense …   Useful english dictionary

  • sketch book — sketchˈbook or sketch book noun A book of or for sketches (in drawing, literature or music) • • • Main Entry: ↑sketch * * * sketch|book «SKEHCH BUK», noun, or sketch book, 1. a book to draw or paint sketches in: »In the sketchbook were 35… …   Useful english dictionary

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