Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between a Drawing and an Illustration

drawing_300Drawing vs Illustration

Whenever we communicate, there are certain instances when we need to utilize some tools, in order to make sure that the message we intend to convey is understood. This can include the use of visual arts. Drawings and illustrations are two of the most common types of visual arts that are used by speakers in order to convey their message to a group of people. Not only are visual arts more able to get the message across, the utilization of visual arts such as drawings and illustrations are able to keep the attention of the speaker’s target audience, in order to ensure that they remain attentive to the given speech.

Due to this, it is common for many people to use the terms drawing and illustration interchangeably. After all, both drawings and illustrations are visual representations of the message that is being conveyed, but, as far as graphic artists, and fine arts students and professionals are concerned, these two are completely different.

A drawing, by definition, is a type of visual expression that is often conveyed in two-dimension. It is often created through the use of paper, and a variety of different tools such as charcoal, colored pencils, pen and ink and the like. A drawing is often an exploratory form of visual art. This means that drawings pay considerable emphasis on observation, problem solving and composition. In most cases, drawings serve as a draft, or an outline, for other types of visual arts, such as painting. When an artist creates a drawing, he or she is focused more on the artistic rendition of a particular image. As such, the drawing may or may not exactly replicate the subject matter in real life. This is because drawings are predominantly utilized to convey the feelings and emotions evoked within the artist.

On the other hand, an illustration is defined as the visual representation to provide emphasis or to accentuate a particular text. In this case, the rendition of the illustration is as close to the message of the text as possible, and is rarely created without having to tap into the impression that the viewers will get from viewing it. Illustrations are often used to provide faces to characters within a story, in order for the readers to be able to visualize the characters better, or to provide a visual representation of a particular theory presented in a textbook. Illustrations are not limited to visual representations of things in real life. Illustrations can also be graphs, charts and other forms of visual representations.


1. Both drawings and illustrations are visual representations used to convey a particular message.

2. Drawings are visual expressions used to convey feelings and emotions evoked within the artist. On the other hand, illustrations are visual expressions that help people further understand and visualize the accompanying textual content.

3. Drawings can stand alone, and still convey a message. On the other hand, illustrations require text to accompany it, for it to be appreciated.

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