August 21, 2020

Are Sketching And Drawing The Same Thing? – With Examples

Reading Time: 9 mins

If you are a designer you’ve no doubt heard of the terms sketching and drawing. It’s easy to confuse these 2 terms or wonder are sketching and drawing the same thing? These terms seem to be used interchangeably online so it’s no wonder people have a hard time understanding each term individually.

Sketching and drawing are not the same things. The term sketching refers to freehand drawing that is done quickly to capture the rough outline of something. Drawing takes more time and contains a lot more detail. It is usually the finished product.

As a designer, you’ll likely make use of both of these techniques in your job. That’s why it’s important to understand the differences between these terms and the benefits of each one.

Now that we’ve answered the question are sketching and drawing the same thing, let’s take a more detailed look into each term.

We’ll ask the question are sketching and drawing good hobbies to have?

I’ll also share some tips with you on how to practice sketching and drawing.

Sketching And Drawing - Pin

What Is Sketching?

Let’s examine what sketching is in more detail to learn more about this technique.

Sketching is a quick method of creating pictures that capture the outline of the picture without a lot of detail.

It is done using a pencil and paper but most commonly done with charcoal and paper. The use of tools for sketching is very minimal and is sometimes done without an eraser to erase any mistakes.

Sketches are done to get your ideas out of your brain and onto paper. That way you can begin to form the idea in more detail by sketching it out.

It is common to do several sketches of the same picture over time to improve or clarify the idea of your design.

The idea of creating multiple sketches quickly allows your brain to flow and to create better designs without worrying about making mistakes.

Sketching is a great way to develop your drawing and creative skills as it is something you can easily practice without much equipment.

Some famous examples of sketches include those by Leonardo Da Vinci, the famous Renaissance painter. Da Vinci was famous for his many intricate notebooks full of sketches of ideas.

What Is Drawing?

Now that we’ve talked about sketching, let’s examine what drawing is in more detail.

Drawing is a more comprehensive, detail-oriented method of creating pictures.

More planning goes into a drawing than a sketch. Time is spent thinking about how to construct a drawing before you begin to draw at all.

Drawing is done with many tools including pastels, markers, pens, erasers, etc. depending on your preference.

Drawing is usually done after a number of iterations of the picture have been sketched out previously. This way you can refer to your sketches when working on a drawing.

A drawing is typically the finished product that is produced.

What Is The Difference Between Sketching And Drawing?

Now that we’ve talked about sketching and drawing individually, let’s examine the differences between sketching and drawing.

This table outlines the differences between sketching and drawing:

Difference Sketching Drawing
Planning Required No planning required Lots of planning required
Skill Required No real drawing skills required Drawing skills are required
Medium Used Light-weight, less expensive sketch paper More expensive, heaver drawing paper
Tools Required Pencil or charcoal Pencils, markers, pastels etc.
Time Involved Small amount of time required depending on your skill level Long periods of time required depending on your skill level
Output A rough sketch that can be used to create a more finished idea later A finished drawing

What Is The Difference Between Sketch & Drawing Paper?

Now that we’ve talked in great detail about the differences between drawing and sketching, you might be wondering about the medium. What is the difference between sketch and drawing paper?

The table below outlines the key differences between sketch and drawing paper:

Difference Sketch Paper Drawing Paper
Weight Light-weight Slightly heavier weight
Price Cheaper cost More expensive
Durability Less durable More durable - can withstand more erasing
Tooth (surface of the paper) Shallow Tooth Deeper Tooth - allows for more depth of color and shading techniques

To learn more about the term tooth, I recommend you read this article: Drawing vs. Sketch Paper: What’s the Difference?.

How Do You Practice Sketching?

Now that we know the difference between sketching and drawing you might be wondering how you can practice sketching.

Being able to sketch is an invaluable skill to have in any job and practicing is the key to improving at it.

The simplest way to start sketching is to try sketching something like a bowl of fruit using a basic pencil and paper.

The key is to capture the rough outline of each object rather than spending too much time detailing each piece individually.

Sketching still objects is the easiest way to start practicing sketching.

Find interesting objects around your house to sketch. Or you can go outside into nature and sketch a landscape or nature scene.

Sketching objects from memory is another fun way to practice sketching.

You’d be surprised at how challenging it can be to draw something like a car or a bowl of fruit from memory.

Doing this encourages you to break down each object into its core shapes.

This in turn will enable you to quickly capture the outline of the objects you are trying to sketch.

Is Sketching A Good Hobby?

Sketching is a great hobby to have even if you don’t need it for your job.

Being able to sketch allows you to express your creative nature easily. Sketching can be an enjoyable way to spend some time each day.

Sketching as a hobby will also allow you to get ideas from your brain onto paper much easier. This can actually translate into your work believe it or not and can increase your productivity.

Sketchnotes are a very popular way of capturing notes creatively. The theory behind Sketchnotes is that it engages both parts of your brain and will help you retain more information easily.

I highly recommend trying out Sketchnotes if you’re looking to start sketching as a hobby.

How Do You Practice Drawing?

Being able to practice drawing regularly is the best way to improve your drawing skills.

Most people think they can’t draw or aren’t creative enough. However, with some practice and a basic knowledge of shapes, anybody can draw.

You can start practicing drawing in a similar way to sketching by simply drawing objects from around your house.

Drawing objects that are still and right in front of you will allow you the time to work on your drawing.

Break down each object into its most basic shapes and start to piece everything together into your drawing.

As you continue to practice your drawing you can get more creative with what you draw.

If you have a friend, family member, or even a pet, you can draw them. This can be a really fun way to practice drawing.

By practicing drawing consitently, your skills will improve dramatically. Over time, it will become second nature and you will draw very well without having to think about it.

If you want to learn more about drawing as a UI designer, I wrote this article that you can read:

Should UI Designers Be Able To Draw? (With Drawing Tips)

Is Drawing A Good Hobby?

Drawing is a great hobby to have no matter who you are. Anybody can draw with a little practice and a bit of creativity.

The benefits of being able to draw allow you to think more creatively.

This can even help you at work.

By being able to draw out an idea onto paper you can easily convey a thought or idea to a team member.

Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words!

This can actually save you time and make you more productive.

Being able to draw and having an interest in drawing can even present you with new job opportunities.

If you find that you can draw and love doing it, there are plenty of careers that you can get into.

From UI design to graphic design there are a lot of high paying jobs that require someone able to draw.


You’ve reached the end of this article on is sketching and drawing the same thing. Let’s summarize everything we covered before we finish:

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