Tuesday, December 19, 2017

What's The Difference Between Doodling, Sketching, and Drawing?

Great question which is interesting to look up to see the various opinions of what each of these terms mean to individuals or in general by most.  For some reason over the last few days I've been questioning myself just what the difference means to me.

It appears I have a strange strange way in how I view these terms and tend to interchange them from time to time.

For many people, doodling is mindless marks on paper without much thought.  That used to be my way of thinking too until I met Peter Saw.  He had an art forum called Paintdoodles that was created and provided to those folks who purchased his interactive watercolor CD years ago.  The concept of his teaching watercolor was by breaking down individual subjects/components rather than jumping right in and attempting a full scaled composition.  These individual components were labeled "doodles".

I view doodles as "cameos" or little jewels.  That to me could mean mindless marks on paper creating shapes or  intended / well thought out shapes and subjects captured on paper.........like painting or drawing various trees......maybe rocks.......boats, etc.

Sketching for most means preliminary lines on paper working out ideas, placement of subjects, tone values, etc.  whereas Drawing is the final well thought out, careful rendering of subject or composition.

I tend to use the term sketching for most everything I do even if it takes hours (or even days) to complete.  I already know what I'm going to sketch which is normally exactly what I see in front of me.  The term "sketching" is less intimidating to me than the term "drawing".  Sketching allows me not to stress over everything being perfectly captured on paper.  It's OK if the building is leaning or my lines are wonky and I tend to be happier with my own results when thinking in the terms of "sketching".    Sketching to me means spontaneous full of life (flaws and all) whereas drawing to me means often polished and stiff (at least with my own results).

Some of my "sketches" are quick and carefree and sometimes I refer to them as doodling but most often I label as quick sketching.  Then there are those sketches most would see as "drawings"  that take longer and end up as something I wouldn't mind framing or using as an illustration for cards or similar.  I guess it's all in an individual's perception and what the terms personally mean to them.

And this brings to mind another title or word meaning I see differently than the majority.....

..... the word Artist.  I won't label myself as an artist because to me an artist is a more professional term for those who do more than sketching or painting in a journal book.  Artists sell their work and they often put their work in shows to be juried.  They take composition, the elements and design in rendering their artwork serious.  I don't.  I try to capture exactly what I see in front of me even if it doesn't produce a proper composition according to the rules and guidelines.  I don't get into all the rules of elements and design .......... that's just not for me.  Yes I like the results to look pleasant but what I'm out to do is not to follow rules but instead just capture or record aspects of my life that tells a story .... mishaps and all.  Another reason I feel the way I do is the fact I lack the creative mindset I feel goes along with being an Artist.  I'm not good at dreaming up anything.  I'm not good at taking components and moving around to make a pleasing proper composition.....I basically put to paper what I can see in front of me. 

So if I don't see myself as an artist.......what am I?  I see myself as a sketcher and watercolorist and quite happy with those two terms.  Those terms are also less intimidating to me. 

Special Note:  I'm sure most people view all of these terms differently and most likely in the way the dictionary and art world views them...........this post in no way is meant to step on toes or offend anyone.  These are just my feelings and how I see things in my own little world of art and how I label what I am with regards to being an artist versus sketcher or watercolorist.  Thinking on these terms is what helps me continue with what I love to do and most importantly.........be accepting of my own results.  :-)




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