Sketching traditionally refers to a preliminary rough type of drawing that an artist might make in preparation for either a painting or a more formal drawing (like a study). A sketch is less detailed than a study – a study may be a highly detailed rendition of something to be used in a large composition. Formally however it is a useful way for an artist to capture a fleeting impression of a scene or person before it changes. For this purpose, it is typically executed rapidly and with little concern for accuracy. Not unlike caricature art, sketching is often about capturing a mood or key feature of the subject.
A sketch (ultimately from Greek σχέδιος – schedios, “done extempore”) is a rapidly executed freehand drawing that is not usually intended as a finished work. A sketch may serve a number of purposes: it might record something that the artist sees, it might record or develop an idea for later use or it might be used as a quick way of graphically demonstrating an image, idea or principle.
Sketches can be made in any drawing medium. The term is most often applied to graphic work executed in a dry medium such as silverpoint, graphite, pencil, charcoal or pastel. It may also apply to drawings executed in pen and ink, digital input such as a digital pen, ballpoint pen, marker pen, watercolor and oil paint.