In Focus: Sketching

Posted on January 7, 2010 in Alternative Careers

Sahiba Singh:

pencil-166790_1280Sketching is the base of art. Every budding painter has to attend the necessary sketching classes to enhance his skills. It is also a hobby that most of us love. We remember scribbling on plain paper for hours. Anita, an art teacher says, “Sketching is something that we all know but not many of us take it beyond the funny trees”.

Now it’s just not a stepping stone but is a field in itself. Sketch artist get more recognition and better job opportunities.

Sketching can be done with pencils and charcoal. Pencils are used more at teaching level or for a quick session. The charcoal is used by more experienced artists. This versatile medium isn’t just for life drawing. You can use charcoal for detailed tonal studies and large expressive works, with rich blacks and subtle tonal values.

There are two major categories in sketching, namely, still life and portraits.

Still life includes sketching non-living things and plants, and studying them is great detail. It is further divided in commercial and industrial designs.

Portraits include sketching humans and animal postures. Students can specialize any of the two categories. They can go into a number of industries.

Industrial sketching leads to automobile industry, work varies from designing cars to their interiors. Still life and portraits are both useful in the animation industry. You don’t have to be an expert on computer graphics, being good in sketching is enough to get a career in animation.

There are many artists who instead of getting a regular job prefer to work independently. They create a series or abstract sketches to be showcased at exhibitions. Sanjeev Khanna, 44, has been working as a freelancer for over a decade now. “I prefer working on my own terms, gives immense creative satisfaction. I’m able to work on many projects at the same time. Also, pay is much better”. It’s important to know that you don’t get skyrocketing prices for your sketches but any experienced artist can get around 5000- 20,000 per sketch.

If freelancing or 9-5 job is not your cup of tea, then teaching sketching can be a fruitful experience. As more attention is given to extra-curricular activities, every school now has a well equipped arts departments. Many fine art colleges are often in need for sketching teachers. You can also conduct your own hobby classes during the holidays. “The pay varies from school to school but it is not less than the industrial pay”, points out Anita.

There is no dearth of good fine art colleges and institutes in India. This career doesn’t promise an easy road but determined and hard working artist can go a long way ahead.

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The writer is a correspondent at Youth Ki Awaaz
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