In my last post I mentioned that I was looking through my sketchbooks for drawings I’ve done of restaurant waiters and posted one sketch. Then, inspired by one of the sketches I found in my various books, I drew this finished drawing using ink and watercolor on handmade paper. By ‘finished’ I mean it could be framed and hung as it is.
Posting about this got me to thinking about how I define the term “sketching”. Some people might call the drawing posted above a “sketch” because it is done using a fairly loose and simple style. But I don’t call it a sketch and here’s some of why…
Sketches are: Drawings made on-site that capture and document observed surroundings.
Sketches are: Drawings that communicate a thought/feeling/story that reflects the reality the sketcher perceives at the moment (however accurate the drawing may/may not be).
Sketches are: Drawings that can serve as a reminder of observations and thoughts. As in the drawing and writing is legible enough that I, or someone else, could recognize and understand what I’ve observed even though the sketch/drawing doesn’t contain as much detail as a more finished artwork may have.
Sketches are: Drawings that are documentations of one’s day (auto biographical data) – a personal visual diary collecting both words and images reflecting the associative thoughts of the sketcher at that day/time.
Sketches are: Drawings that are studies in preparation for later more finished artwork. Practicing to “get a particular shape right” etc.
Sketches are: Drawings where the sketcher is “working out” thoughts and ideas along a theme or series concept.
Sketches are: Drawings that are done in a bound book (usually) and not intended for framing or display.