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A rough concept

The implications of an idea

Working out the intricacies

A travel observation

A detailed representation

A suggestion of light and color

A study in technique

A planned art piece

A tracing in a new medium

Sketches.  As I went through my stack of sketchbooks and files of watercolors, I started to wonder what constitutes a sketch.  Are there rules to what a sketch can or cannot be?  Ask someone ‘what is a sketch’ and you’ll likely get a variety of responses: a quick recorded observation, a messy conceptual drawing, a study of an attribute or effect, a working drawing, etc.

I asked the question of myself as I sought to pick out just one sketch to submit for a Women in Architecture Fund scholarship application.  The answer was so varied in my own mind that I still haven’t settled on a single image.  For me, I find it difficult to elevate one particular sketch over another for any reason other than visual appeal or preference.  In the end, is a sketch simply a drawing that we like?  I sometimes waver between whether to call a very precise, planned out, and well executed painting a ‘sketch’.  Does forethought exclude a piece from being a sketch?  What about the time it takes to create it or the level of detail?  What about tracing something as a study or exercise in technique?

What is a sketch, to you?

Update: I was selected as the scholarship recipient! I received a copy of the Ballast ARE study book.

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