Engineering drawing (the activity) produces engineering drawings (the documents). More than merely the drawing of pictures, it is also a language—a graphical language that communicates ideas and information from one mind to another.
Engineering drawing and artistic types of drawing, and either may be called simply "drawing" when the context is implicit. Engineering drawing shares some traits with artistic drawing in that both create pictures. But whereas the purpose of artistic drawing is to convey emotion or artistic sensitivity in some way (subjective impressions), the purpose of engineering drawing is to convey information (objective facts). One of the corollaries that follow from this fact is that, whereas anyone can appreciate artistic drawing (even if each viewer has his own unique appreciation), engineering drawing requires some training to understand (like any language); but there is also a high degree of objective commonality in the interpretation (also like other languages). In fact, engineering drawing has evolved into a language that is more precise and unambiguous than natural languages; in this sense it is closer to a programming language in its communication ability. Engineering drawing uses an extensive set of conventions to convey information very precisely, with very little ambiguity.
The process of producing engineering drawings, and the skill of producing those, is often referred to as technical drawing or drafting (draughting) although technical drawings are also required for disciplines that would not ordinarily be thought of as parts of engineering (such as architecture, landscaping, cabinet making, and garment-making).
Persons employed in the trade of producing engineering drawings were called draftsmen (or draughtsmen) in the past. Although these terms are still in use, the not -gender-specific terms draftsperson and drafter are now more common.
The various fields share many common conventions of drawing, while also having some field-specific conventions. For example, even within metalworking, there are some process-specific conventions to be learned—casting, machining, fabricating, and assembly all have some special drawing conventions, and within fabrication there is further division, including welding, riveting, pipefitting, and erecting. Each of these trades has some details that only specialists will have memorized.