The 8 Characteristics Of A Most Important Sketch

The characteristics of the   sketch  refer to a drawing that does not present exact proportions whose purpose can be to capture both existing objects, places or people, as well as those coming from the imagination, as a way to quickly capture that idea.

It is a word of French origin that literally means sketch, although the Gallic term is commonly used in both Spanish and English, in Spanish it is also called sketch, draft or outline.

However, the application of the term sketch in Spanish differs from the same in English. In English-speaking countries it is used alternately with its synonym sketch (sketch, sketch), while in Spanish it is used as a synonym for draft or sketch for other purposes, although the technique is similar.

In this way, the term scheme turns out to be a more accurate synonym of the term, without ceasing to be other synonyms mentioned.

For this reason, the Dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy defines them as: “Light design of a terrain, landscape or military position, which is done by eye and without using geometric instruments.”

Although at the same time, the term could be applied to the most widespread use in English-speaking countries, as a quick drawing and not necessarily accurate in terms of proportions or distances, to quickly describe or capture the desired object, person or place.

Highlights of a sketch

1- They are quick drawings

One of the most important reasons why a sketch is used is how quickly it represents if you want to demonstrate or explain something visually.

This is because they are not drawings with an aesthetic purpose, that is, they are not made for the beauty or quality that they may present, there are cases of very good quality sketches.

In this sense, a person may find himself in the need to use a sketch to give an explanation, mainly indications of how to locate or get to a place, so that if he has a surface to draw, and a pencil or the like, he can perform the sketch in minutes.

2- They do not require skill to draw

The sketch, regardless of the use that is given, is a technique available to anyone, from very young ages to advanced ages, and that does not require drawing skills, therefore, anyone, with taste or ability to drawing or not, you can make use of this.

Due to its conception as a sketch or draft, the most important thing during the realization of a sketch is to capture in an understandable way the idea that you want to explain or remember, without making use of advanced techniques such as shading or perspectives (they can apply if desired).

When making a sketch, the use of direct observation or direct references is not required, that is, whoever makes the sketch can use their memory or their imagination, according to what they plan to draw.

In the case of making a sketch as an outline or reference of how to get to a place, in general the person who makes it can go to their memory.

With this, it is likely that it knows the path well from the point it takes as a reference, thus being able to capture each block by means of squares, and draw other references within the square, with smaller squares.

4- They are intuitive

A sketch should be understandable to all people, although the fundamental thing is that it is clear for whom it is intended.

If, for example, the sketch is intended to give a location, it should contain data or images that are familiar to the recipient of the sketch.

Likewise, this technique is commonly taught in elementary schools. Generally, a task is assigned to young people so that they can use their memory and creativity to give indications based on references known to them.

5- They can be complemented

Although the main instrument when making a sketch is the pencil (graphite, pen or similar) and the drawing, this can be supported by other complementary elements, such as printed material or references in written language.

It is a very common use to, for example, write the name of the streets between the blocks represented by squares, in the case of a scheme to give an address, so that by recognizing a place, and the name or number from the street, the indication is more effective.

In addition, not everything embodied in a sketch must come from the hand of the director, and a person can, in the case of a sketch to show a location, use printed material, clippings, and photographs of the place if they have these, to make more understandable the content. 

Although the sketch technique does not require exceptional drawing skills, a person who indeed possesses them, and draws frequently, can turn to a sketch, in its most applied sense in English-speaking countries, to get a visual idea for it. a concept or work that you want to carry out later with a superior aesthetic finish.

7- Exact measurements are not required

Although two important uses of sketches are to give directions to specific locations or to convey ideas for trendy designs, both with an exact location or measurement, sketches do not require rigorous measurements.

In this sense, to give an indication, it is not necessary to specify the number of meters or kilometers that must be traveled to reach the desired place, since it is a referential and intuitive system.

Similarly in fashion design, the measurements of a suit or dress reflected in a sketch can be assigned a posteriori, when the idea is taken to the manufacturing material.

8- They can be manufactured


Nor is it necessary for a sketch to be personal, existing designs previously created, which can be distributed in print or digitally, which facilitate the use of this technique.

A common example of this type of sketch is found in educational maps, which may or may not have color, and which only show the lines that delimit the borders of each country, without giving the name of the continents, countries or cities.

In this way, it is intended that the student can point out or learn them effectively.


  1. Sketch. (2016, August 20). Recovered from
  2. Sketch. (2017, June 17). Recovered from

  3. Sketch. In Encyclopedia Britannica. Recovered from
  4. Definition of Sketch. Deficion ABC, your easy dictionary. Recovered from
  5. Indirect observation sketch (2016, February 28). Recovered from

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