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Sketching as opposed to drawing
What's the difference and why does it matter?
A sketch is not a drawing
A sketch is not a finished piece - it is more of a spontaneous action. A drawing is a destination, a sketch is a recording of the journey which may, or may not, end up as a finished drawing at some point - in my case, usually not. Sketching is about freehand interpretations that don’t take long to do, capturing the feeling rather than any form of realism and free from too many pressures for artistic merit. My only considerations for sketching are they should be:
3: In perspective
Recognisable: It helps if the subject of the sketch is easily recognised (at least to you) or it is likely to lose some of its impact, if you, or anyone else, is trying to work out what it is actually of.
Evocative: Derived from a thought, a feeling, an observation, with some passion, spontaneity, whimsy, curiosity, humour. Any, or a combination. of the above are good if it actually means something to you, that stirs up some form of emotion.
In Perspective: I like to sketch things in perspective - I think it looks better. But not just that, if a sketch is drawn in perspective, and the perspective is roughly right (vanishing points, eye level, etc.), then it’s half way there to telling the story and making it easier to understand.
People in bars - Hopefully it is recogisable that this is the subject of these sketches. To me they are evocative of a kind of isolation and comradeship combined - kindred spirits against the rest of the world - a world that doesn’t really understand what they are talking about. And the perspective is roughly right and adds to a sense of being there, with the friends that you are about to meet up with.
To sum up the difference between a sketch and a drawing
When you think about the difference between sketching and drawing think about having a tattoo. You don’t want a tattoo of a sketch.
You probably get the point here. Tattoos may well have started out as sketches at some point, but they have to get beyond a sketch before anyone would be crazy enough to have them tattooed on themselves. I like my sketches, but I don’t want to look at the same one over and over again.
An extract from my latest journal
This Substack is intended to expand upon the concepts of the pen and ink sketch journal, to provide examples, inspiration and ‘how to’ guides. From the simplicity of QUAD (quick and dirty) sketching to getting your thoughts and feelings out onto paper.
Thanks for reading this and coming on the journey with me. Enjoy the journey and the destination can just look after itself.
All the best,
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