Croquis is a quick sketching of live figure. So the sketching by photo images cannot be a croquis.



Can you tell me the difference of dessin and croquis?


We take part in various croquis sessions and find some people draw lines and shade in their croquis. 

I would like to ask you one more time.

Are their works croquis?

if so, can you tell me the difference of dessin and croquis?

Most of the art learners and even professional artists do not have clear answers against this question. Or rather, each artists have their own criteria.

This is a croquis, that is also a croquis, …that’s not a croquis…. This situation makes the concept of the croquis broaden.

On the other hand, it causes ambiguity that makes art beginners confused.


The essence of croquis is a LINE


If you are in such a similar situation and you are at a loss what to do in croquis time, I recommend concentrating on lines only.

When you do croquis, do not shade in a croquis at all.

People would like to represent beautiful shade. It makes their croquis more beautiful. So the shading technique itself is not bad.

However, this fancy way might stop improving your drawing skills, because you will be satisfied with your “beautiful” croquis and stop exploring the possibility of lines.

Croquis lines show not only the outlines of a figure, but the roundness, softness, lively appearance and solidity.


Do not lose a chance to learn lines


To tell the truth, the shading technique is very easy so you can do it anytime, in any levels.

You should not lose your chances to polish your line skills and that is the biggest difference between dessin and croquis.

In dessin learning, you need to understand there is no lines in the world.  

Line does not exist in this world.

A plane surface or a gap of one plane and another plane exist.

Edges of 3 dimensional shapes also exist. But a line does not.

It is a mathematical abstract concept so your eyes cannot catch lines.

If your dessin have lines and those do not look narrow planes or gaps of something and something, you need to revise them.

On the other hand, croquis is an exercise to grasp the whole movement of a live model shortly and express lively aspect of a figure in a short time

More than 20 min. is too long for croquis. 10 min., 7 min., 5 min….1 min. could be better.

In my experience, even 10 sec. would be better for exercise.  


Feel the various kinds of lines


Thick/thin, soft/hard, strong/week….try to draw various kinds of lines on a paper and feel the differences of each lines.

Then try to draw lines as long as you can when you do croquis.

Some people fear of mistaking and hesitate to draw long, lively lines. But this attitude prevents you from improving your skills.

Plus, having the dread of mistaking comes from misunderstanding against lines.

The “failed” lines show your strokes and finally those makes your croquis attractive. So I also recommend that art beginners do not use erasers.

There are a lot of failed lines but you can feel what I wanted to do. I wanted to express power and toughness of the female dancer.


Croquis and dessin are inseparable. Each approaches are different but the goal is the same. To show the reality of a live model.