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.

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, it is called thumbnails, which is defined below.

Sketch is defined as:


  1. a rough drawing representing the chief features of an object or scene and often made as a preliminary study
  2. a brief description (as of a person) or outline
  3. a short literary composition somewhat resembling the short story and the essay but intentionally slight in treatment, discursive in style, and familiar in tone


  1. to make a sketch, rough draft, or outline.


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

It includes the following for more information or resources on each type, click on the following:

Pencil Sketching
Ink Sketching
Urban Sketching


Click on the tabs below.

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

  • Click here for a list of books in order by rating.

How To

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