Creating a work of art is sometimes an iterative process. This means that rather than diving feet-first into a complete drawing or painting, the artist will do a series of sketches with the aim of trying out ideas. It can be difficult to translate an idea from the mind to the canvas, so working drawings allow the artist to revise the work and re-draw to develop a composition, working through problems as they occur. Particularly in the case of large and complex works, these will then become references as the artist embarks on the final piece.
Working drawings are often among the most interesting of an artist's works, because they reveal the thought processes behind a work of art; done not for an audience but for the artist's own use, they have an honesty and straightforwardness. As an artist yourself, it's important not to let an awareness of that fact intrude on the function of your drawings. Particularly in the contemporary culture of documenting every moment, the intention to share work-in-progress on social media can lead to a sense of self-consciouness about the aesthetic of the drawing that can interfere with its primary roles of experimenting and informing the major work of art. David Apatoff's Thoughts on Working Drawings
Working Drawings in Drafting and EngineeringWorking drawings are drawings used as a reference or guide in the manufacture of a product. This most often refers to engineering and architecture, but working drawings are used in many different modes of construction. These drawings are composed according to industry standards, so that all the information is easily and clearly understood, and standard conventions and units are used
There are two distinct types of working drawing: one is the detail drawing, which shows various views of an object and includes important information such as measurements and tolerances that the craftsperson or machine operator might need to know when manufacturing the object, or that people using the object might need to know. The second is an assembly drawing, which shows how various components fit together during construction.