Difference between Drawing and Sketching

Key difference: Drawing is a picture, likeness, diagram or representation, usually drawn on paper. Sketch is to make a brief and a basic drawing. It is meant to convey any idea, and isn’t needed to be exactly to scale and have the correct lengths.

Many people remain confused about the differences between drawing and sketching. Both are the means of expressing oneself. Drawing is a picture, likeness, diagram or representation, usually drawn on paper. It has more details that will give more effect to the drawing. The techniques of drawing often include instruments like pen, brushes, pencils, crayons, etc. Drawings are usually a complete statement of a scene or a subject as compared to the nature of many sketches. The person who practices or works in drawing is known as a draftsman.

Sketching is to make a brief and a basic drawing. One can draw a sketch on a piece of paper, in order to describe a drawing briefly and with very few details. The word sketch is derived from the Greek word ‘schedios’, meaning “done extempore”. It is mainly a freehand design rather than a finished design. It is a process where an artist creates a picture using shades of light and dark with a pencil or charcoal. It is to create a picture with minimum details and a lot of suggestions. It is a way of expression that one is imagining something in his mind and he put it into the piece of paper so that it can be converted into the perfect drawing.

Comparison between Drawing and Sketching:






  • The act of a person or thing that draws.
  • A graphic representation by lines of an object or idea, as with a pencil; a delineation of form without reference to color.
  • A sketch, plan, or design, especially one made with pen, pencil, or crayon.
  • The art or technique of making these.
  • A simply or hastily executed drawing or painting, especially a preliminary one, giving the essential features without the details.
  • A rough design, plan, or draft, as of a book.
  • A brief or hasty outline of facts, occurrences, etc.

Done / prepared

Drawing is done with pencils, crayons, painting colors, wax colors, brushes, etc.

Sketching is done using pencils and charcoal only.

It is basically

A slow and more careful expression that makes use of tools and colors.

A free hand drawing that focuses on capturing the beauty or expression rather than going into details.


The purpose of drawing is to draw a picture in a detailed form.

The purpose of sketching is to make a brief design/drawing.


The process can be slower and more careful

The process can be faster and one doesn't need to be very careful.


Finished work

Generally unfinished work

For children

Drawing is easier as compared to sketching.

Sketching is difficult as compared to drawing.


  • Click the small drawing below to see the raised bed plan.
  • How to prepare and return amended drawings back to site by tomorrow?
  • That shop sells watercolors, pastels and pencil drawings.
  • Is there a role for the manufacturers to help prepare drawings?
  • What a 3D drawing John!
  • Harry would watch these animals for hours on end, sketching them.
  • I usually sketch with a pen rather than pencil.
  • He sketched the accident, sketching to the facts as they had happened.
  • A sketch of his life.
  • She has completed a rough sketch of that game.

Image Courtesy: linesandcolors.com, upload.wikimedia.org

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