Is being a sketch artist your dream career? Are you also inspired by the iconic masterpieces of Leonardo Da Vinci & Pablo Picasso? Do you wish to turn your passion into a profession?

If these things interest you, then you are on the right track. Read further for more information about the education, career, & job opportunities that a sketch artist can explore today.

Sketching & sketch artists have a vibrant art history. Before the advent of cameras, a sketch was the sole source that conveyed details about significant happenings across the globe.

Celebrated people like Leonardo Da Vinci, Vincent Van Gogh, Peter Paul Rubens, Edgar Degas, and Pablo Picasso are associated with this beautiful genre of art. Their influential sketches & paintings imparted profound messages about everyday life, human psychology, and societal behavior to the masses. These English artists are a source of inspiration for aspiring artists.

Vitruvian Man and Head of a Young Lady by Da Vinci, Wild Vegetation and Woman with Folded Hands by Van Gogh, Young Woman Looking Down by Peter Paul Ruben, and Toro by Picasso are some of the dynamic compositions by them.

The Vitruvian Man

Credit: The Vitruvian Man - by Leonardo da Vinci

Head of Young Women

Credit: Head of Young Women by Leonardo da Vinci

Wild Vegetation by Vincent Van Gogh

Credit: Wild Vegetation by Vincent Van Gogh

Women with folded hands

Credit: Women with folded hands by Vincent Van Gogh

Young Woman Looking Down

Credit: Young Woman Looking Down by Rubens

Toro by Pablo Picasso

Credit: Toro by Pablo Picasso

What Does a Sketch Artist Do?

Sketching is an artistic technique of precisely and accurately replicating a scenario, a scene, or a person on paper. This creative process focuses entirely on freehand drawings using pencils and graphite leads, depending on the pencil’s hardness. Sketch artists, also called drafters, may also use an ink pen, a reed pen, charcoal sticks, oil pastels & markers to draw.

Painters use sketching for making rough drafts as the first step before elevating their drawings into paintings. Even sculptors create a preliminary sketch as a base before converting their ideas into three-dimensional sculptures & models.

Hand-eye coordination, listening skills, a detailed knowledge of the human body, a firm grip, creativity, imagination, and dedication are essential for a good sketch. A sketch artist should be observant enough to capture mood, raw emotions, expressions, and delicate moments.

One should understand the technicalities of sketching, such as edges, highlights, shadows, and shadings. A good sketch artist efficiently & realistically portrays a person or an event on paper.

Zip recruiter

Credit: Zip recruiter

Fernando Sousa

Credit: Sketch by Fernando Sousa


Preliminary studies form the foundation of a person. Becoming a full-time sketch artist does not necessarily need a degree or formal education. But, it is advisable for people seeking a career in sketching to get postsecondary education, i.e., a diploma or bachelor’s degree of 2 or 4 years in fine arts or drawing.

Classes and internships during such courses help hone skills & get a clearer understanding of human anatomy, facial expressions & feelings. At the same time, college is the best place for an individual to make their portfolio with the best sketches, drawings, and paintings. A portfolio significantly helps in the future while searching for job opportunities.

Besides, one can pursue short-term courses in art-related subjects to dive into the depth of their creativity & enhance their abilities. It could be courses on art history, graphic design, fashion design, animation, multimedia, visual arts, or illustrations. Such state certifications increase the chances of grabbing good work opportunities.

A degree in criminal justice or computer science is vital for those who aim to become forensic sketch artists. They should have in-depth knowledge of facial anatomy and expressions. They must also know law enforcement & regulations, as being a forensic sketch artist is a job requiring great responsibility. This profession requires mental and physical toughness to patiently & empathetically deal with the victims & culprits. They should also have good command over communication and, most importantly, listening skills.


Credit: Helptostudy

Florida State University- Art Department

Credit: Florida State University- Art Department

Career Options

Sketch Artists have great scope in both the public and private domains. Whether it is a police station, a courtroom, an advertising firm, a filming set, an accident sport, or a design firm, the range for a sketch artist is expansive. There is a requirement for sketch artists from all walks of life.

Some of the best careers options for sketch artists can be:

1. Forensic Sketching

A forensic sketch artist has to sketch the most accurate picture of the accused just by listening to the details given by an eyewitness. This realistic picture can help the investigative forces & government to identify the suspect & punish him.

In addition, in some places, courtrooms do not allow cameras inside during high-profile cases. Forensic sketch artists play a crucial role as they draft significant developments during court trials & proceedings. They must be fast with their art and note every minute detail. News agencies, history museums, etc., often buy these sketches.

Forensic Sketching

Credit: Time

The art career project

Credit: The art career project

Inside hook - Courtroom Sketch

Credit: Inside hook - Courtroom Sketch

Daily Mail

Credit: Daily Mail

2. Fashion Designing

Sketch Artists can become fashion designers by sketching innovative and creative apparel designs. They may also create portraits of models or design a new collection for the season. Fashion designers may draw these fresh and original designs free-handed or using CAD programs. They take inspiration from runway shows and photoshoots to create trendy wearables.

High-end fashion firms frequently recruit sketch artists in their teams. So, for a sketch artist, fashion design is a domain filled with great opportunities.

Fashion Designing

Credit: Freepik


Credit: ISDI

3. Freelancing

Aspiring sketch artists can take up freelancing in the initial years of their careers. They can do freelance work for authors by making funny art illustrations or for amusement park authorities by sketching the happy expressions and emotions of the visitors.

They can also draw caricatures for newspapers and magazines. Budding sketch artists can put their artistic sketches & paintings in various exhibitions, galleries & fairs where art enthusiasts & lovers gather, interact, share, and support each other.

Architectural Digest

Credit: Architectural Digest

4. Art Teacher

If teaching interests any sketch artist, they can become an art teacher at the school or university level after pursuing a degree in teaching. They can pass their love for art to their students and teach them drawing, painting, sketching, and sculpturing.

Art teachers must follow a curriculum given by the school or university authorities. However, they can also take up other imaginative and artistic projects for students’ benefit. They can deliver and teach techniques, tips, methods, and strategies with good communication skills. They can also influence and motivate talented children to take up art as a career.

All Education Schools

Credit: All Education Schools

5. Graphic Designing

Graphic designers design original and interesting logos, brochures, pamphlets, signs, etc., for multiple companies. They generally use CAD programs as it is convenient for processes like printing or rendering. CAD also helps in creating art components that are eye-pleasing and attractive. Profound familiarity with the applications is a must to become a graphic designer. Also, one can freelance or work full-time as a graphic designer.

Graphic Designing

Credit: Corel Draw

Corel Draw

Credit: Wikipedia

Likewise, sketch artists can take up other related careers and become animators, industrial designers, technical illustrators, book illustrators, architects, art directors, tattoo artists, motion graphic designers, etc. Due to the advancement of technology, the demand for all these fields is high, but the competition is tough.

Job Prospects

According to statistics, around 6 percent employment growth is projected across the art & craft industry between 2021 to 2031. Professional Forensic Sketch Artists can work with investigation agencies, police departments, law firms, and the government.

As reported by, The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the need for policies & detectives is growing at a rate of 7 percent, predicting 51,700 new positions between 2020 and 2030.

The demand for forensic sketch artists is high at all times. Being a challenging & sensitive job, a forensic artist should be physically & emotionally ready to face any gruesome situation.

Often, there is a demand for sketch artists in newspaper & magazine agencies to create cartoons & caricatures for entertainment purposes.

Job Prospects


Sketch artists also tend to do commissioned artwork ({Blog post Title 1} - Art Commission Guide: How do Artist Commissions Work?) at the request of individuals for their close ones. They can sell their products at various art events, galleries, and fairs organized by different societies & clubs. They can also work in areas like glass painting, canvas painting, tattoo designing, etc.


Credit: Upwork

Today, many sketch artists also work as freelance artists, collaborating with different organizations occasionally and working on several projects. Working regularly with diverse clientele & on a variety of assignments will ensure good exposure & experience.

Furthermore, many advertising and design firms hire sketch artists as full-time employees to add artistic & creative insights to their plans.

In today’s scenario, traditional sketch art is still popular, and the charm of new digital art is increasing. People are demanding & running towards technical illustrations, graphic designing, animation, and multimedia. With innovation & imagination, artists can make a bright career from these alternative options.

Furthermore, one should often watch multiple job alerts for an outstanding career.

Wondershare Filmora

Credit: Wondershare Filmora


Credit: Cindrebay

Now, if you want to learn more about building your online presence as an artist, check out this helpful article: How to Build Your Online Presence as an Artist.


A person's salary entirely depends upon his education, skillset, talent, quality of work, and experience. Yet, according to a source, an average sketch artist in the United States typically earns around $64,400 annually, which results in approximately $30 per hour.

According to PayScale, there is a direct proportion between the experience a person has & his salary. An entry-level employee can earn up to $15.61 per hour, a person in his early career can earn up to $19.42 per hour, a mid-career employee can earn up to $ 23.91 per hour whereas an experienced artist can earn up to $ 30.34 per hour.

A freelance artist's salary depends entirely upon the amount of work they choose for themself. In the United States, forensic sketch artists' salaries can range from $12,993 to $345,074.


Artists play an essential role in the development & well-being of society. The contribution of artists to society’s progress is evident. Art & craft is a diverse field to explore. There is a considerable requirement for art in the market.

However, the competition is tough in this sector. But, if an individual has the right skills, talent, dedication, and persistence, they can indeed make an excelling career in sketching and more.

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