Why is Sketching So Important for an Artist?

Why is Sketching So Important for an Artist?

Every artist has his or her own preferred medium and unique style. Regardless what type of art you like to create and the materials with which you like to create it, you should make sure to maintain (and continue to develop) your sketching skills. Keep reading to learn why sketching is important for artists and to receive some tips for practicing your sketching skills.

The Importance of Sketching for Artists

In a world where nearly every industry is becoming increasingly more dependent on technology, more and more artists are giving up their sketch pads and pencils for computers and tablets. While these tools can be extremely valuable for artists, you should not lose touch with one of the fundamental building blocks of art – sketching.

In the same way that a writer might keep a journal or read books to develop their vocabulary and their writing skills, so should an artist practice sketching on a regular basis. For an artist, sketches can be used for a variety of purposes, including the following:

• To hone your observational skills and your ability to translate them into drawing.
• To encourage selectivity – what details will you record and which ones will you omit?
• To practice and develop your mark-making skills in a less permanent medium.
• To experiment with new styles and techniques before putting paint on canvas.
• To try out different compositional styles and to explore different lighting effects.
• To practice turning a mental picture into a physical work of art.

Your sketches do not necessarily need to be works of art in and of themselves – they could be little more than unintelligible scribbles. A sketch can be a quick snippet of a particular thought or impression, a way to record your ideas so you can develop them later in your chosen medium.

Tips for Improving Your Sketching Skills

As is true for any art form, if you want to improve your sketching skills you will need to practice. Many artists keep a sketchpad with them at all times and they use it almost like a personal diary where they take down their most intimate thoughts and feelings with pen or pencil. Not only will you get better at sketching the more you do it, but you will also come to understand the benefits of sketching more deeply.

Whether you are planning new work of art or trying out different techniques, your first idea is rarely your best – think of your sketchpad as a testing ground. Sketch out your ideas to get them out of your head – you may find that once you have committed them to paper, giving them physical form, that your ideas start to flow more freely. Over time you will develop your own unique style for sketching and you will learn how to use the skills you developed in your other works of art.

Whether you take down every detail or you simply throw together a few scattered thoughts and impressions, sketching is an important skill for any artist to have. If you want to develop and improve your sketching skills, take the time to learn the importance of sketching and then practice, practice, practice!


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