Bill discusses refining illustrations before going to the computer. The product design book Design Sketching explains the entire process of sketching for product design. The example below from the book shows how a designer might investigate a problem and explore potential solutions.

Our guide will show you how to quickly get up and running, giving you tips on the drawing process, different supplies and techniques. Sketching helps you show, not tell (as the expression goes). With a sketch you can show a concept to a team or client, come up with potential solutions quickly, and help better understand a project yourself. Plan meetings where participants will be expected to sketch. (Just make sure to have plenty of pens and paper on hand.) By encouraging the habit for members of your team, sketching will become almost second nature in no time.

Simple Exercise for Sketching

Look at the reference and measure the relative distance between different elements. There are ways to accurately measure proportions so that you can replicate the reference precisely. Sighting, by using your pencil as a measuring device and translating the placement of different features onto the paper.

what is the purpose of sketching

It serves as a visual language for artists to explore, communicate, and refine their thoughts and concepts. Sketching can be executed using various media, including but not limited to pencils, pens, charcoal, pastels, and digital tools. Whether you’re an artist or an art lover, sketching and drawing is certainly something that will continue to be important. It helps to stimulate creative thought, increase observational skills and of course, develop visual artwork ideas in all mediums.

The Role of Sketching in the Design Process

These are worth keeping in the sketch, as these are details that I would certainly not remember in the future. Even though a sketch is a simplified representation, that what is sketching in drawing doesn’t automatically mean that we have to completely abandon details. In short, you have to be able to transfer a concept from the original to the paper correctly.

  • The latter two are generally referred to as «water colour sketches» and «oil sketches».
  • A perfect design is never created from the very first attempt.
  • This way, all members of the team can compare their ideas and choose the best ones.
  • It is important to distinguish the difference between doodling and sketching here.

The brilliant thing about sketching is that you can sketch with just about anything; pencil, pen, biro, ink, mud or anything else you can find. Mark-marking experimentation is what has contributed to much of the art that was created in the modernist movement and beyond. For more figurative yet expressive sketching, see the fascinating preliminary sketches by famous British sculptor, Henry Moore. Sketching ideas are the first steps in the design process and something every designer should do. Sketching is not just limited to designers, it occurs in many careers that require something to get built.

Approval from the Client

As you move along, use a softer pencil (2B-9B) to darken and shade your lines as needed. If you’ve made any mistakes or want to erase something, use a kneaded eraser. This will allow you to create highlights or lighten areas of your sketch without smudging your work. The best way to plan a composition is to make a series of composition thumbnail sketches in a sketchbook. Spend about a minute on each and roughly outline how your scene will fit together. If you want to go a step further, read our composition blog post.

This article deals with the aesthetic characteristics, the mediums of expression, the subject matter, and the history of drawing. Keeping your sketches is so important because old sketches can be a very personal source of inspiration. As for me, I like to look through my oldest sketches from a decade ago and develop new ideas from them. There is no better basis for a drawing or painting than a sketch. It doesn’t matter whether you make the sketch on a separate paper and use it as a reference for the new artwork or draw or paint directly on the sketch. Everyone starts as a beginner and as a beginner you should practice with simple references.


The latter two are generally referred to as «water colour sketches» and «oil sketches». A sculptor might model three-dimensional sketches in clay, plasticine or wax. One might think that one would rather spend time making a real drawing than wasting it on a sketch. However, sketches have decisive advantages over drawings, because when sketching you train your eyes for shapes and proportions. Part of learning how to sketch is learning how to use your materials.

what is the purpose of sketching

As long as your sketches are good enough that they capture the necessary elements, drawing skill is unnecessary. A large project with a significant client budget will benefit from sketching throughout the design process. This makes sure that before massive amounts of time are invested on refining a solution, a direction is first agreed upon with the client.

A Sketchbook is for Experimenting and Practising

To do this drawing exercise, start by setting a timer for around one minute and then try to complete the sketch within that time limit. Try to pay attention to all of the details, but don’t worry if it doesn’t turn out perfect—just focus on getting as much done in the time limit as you can. Speed drawing is a great exercise for improving your sketching speed and accuracy, which will be helpful in the long run. While sketching can take on a number of forms, it has a few common uses and applications for creatives.

what is the purpose of sketching

However, if you want to put a finished drawing on top of your sketch, it’s better to go with a 2H or harder so that the lines of the sketch won’t be visible later. The goal of the exercise is to draw our reference several times from different angles and in a simplified form, in other words, to sketch it. Creating a successful sketch is all about creating variety and focus.

How to Sketch

I still sketch almost everything out to this day, from website concepts, to what my next business cards might look like, to helping students brainstorm their own design projects. These courses cover various aspects of sketching, such as different techniques, materials, styles, and subjects. In the article From Sketch to Vector Illustration, Bill at GoMedia explains how early in the process they get client approval. They send a series of rough compositional sketches to the client before drawing a more detailed sketch. Then on the right a more detailed sketch is done before moving to the computer. In the tutorial Creating A Cool Vintage Collage Design In Photoshop, Fabio describes how it’s faster to do some sketches before going to the computer.

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