Sometimes called a "sketch," it is a quick drawing that captures the main features of a subject but contains little detail. Sketches are usually executed rapidly or freehand without any drawing tools. They are vignettes or not intended to be finished fin art pieces.

Sketches are often used for designing or planning and may be used to explore a theme for more significant works or a more detailed drawing.

Both sketching and basic drawing skills will help you develop the ability to manipulate line, shape, value, texture, or space, all of which are part of the Visual Elements of Design used to translate any verbal idea or message to an image.


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Quick Studies

Studies or Preliminary Drawings are techniques or processes used to create on a smaller scale for a more precise understanding or to represent initial observations. Sometimes often called thumbnails, if used to capture the initial composition idea.


is a small image representation of a larger image, usually intended to make it easier and faster to look at or manage a group of larger images. Graphic designers and photographers typically use this term.


Is a technique used to let the subconscious mind flow. It is executed quickly with simple lines or shapes, usually without any reference material.

Urban Sketching

Is a technique or style used by urban sketchers to see the world, one drawing at a time (

Urban sketching example and travel kit by Stacy Egan


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Get Started in Sketching

Urban Sketcher or Travel Blogs

  • Urban Sketchers - a global community of artists that practice drawing on location in cities, towns, and villages they live in or travel to
  • Artist's Journal Workshops - Expanding on the book by Cathy Johnson
  • John Muir Laws- Nature, stewardship through science, education, and art

Artist's Blogs

Instructor Recommended

How To

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