Sketch is a word that derives from a word of French origin. It is used to refer to a basic, rustic design, lacking precision and details. In general, it consists of an illustration, a diagram or graph that is made with the naked eye, without resorting to elements of geometric precision.
More specifically, we can determine that the word sketch comes from the French verb croquer. An 18th-century word that has several meanings, although among the most important are “crunch, eat and crack”. And it is that it was formed from the use of the croc onomatopoeia that comes to express the dry noise that is made when biting or eating food.
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To cite examples of use: “Every time he arrived in a city that I do not know, I sit in the street and make a sketch of what I see”, “A sketch made by the Florentine painter on the Ebro coast will be auctioned in London ”, “The General ordered a sketch of the land to be drawn up to determine the steps to follow”.
Despite this meaning of sketch, which is part of the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE), the notion is also used to identify the image that is developed with drawing instruments or that supposes the copy of a model. In this sense, the sketch can be very exact, since it arises from an object that is trying to be reproduced.
In both cases, we can establish the differences between a drawing that tries to copy what is captured by the eye and a sketch. If we take the example of a street, the drawing will include the cars with their lamps, windows and occupants; traffic lights; the windows of the buildings open or closed; passers-by with their clothes, etc. The sketch, on the other hand, will take all those elements, but will not include the details. Thus the car will have no headlights or occupants, the windows will all be closed and the people will all look the same.
In this sense, it is common that, for example, we use the term sketch to refer to the drawing or scheme that someone makes us when we try to find a street or address. Thus, they will basically represent the street and some building or monument that will serve as a reference when finding our destination.
It is also common that when two people have a minor traffic accident and both present the pertinent documentation so as not to have to face the payment of the damages caused, they make some requests where they will carry out the drawing of the sketch that explains how the events happened.
In addition to all of the above, we cannot ignore either that sketch is also the word used to give the title to a periodical publication, specifically a bimonthly one, that revolves around the world of architecture. “El Croquis” is more exactly the name of this aforementioned monographic magazine on the aforementioned field in which there are firms of great relevance in the sector, such as, for example, that of the architects Richard Levene and Fernando Márquez Cecilia.