Warming Up

Do you know why athletes warm up? They do it to ensure that their muscles are ready, that the blood is flowing in the right direction, and that their mind is attuned to the task at hand.

I don't know about you, but I see no reason that wouldn't apply to art! In the end, engaging in an activity like drawing is about connecting your mind to your arm and hand. You're creating a sense of coordination that is intended to produce a work of art. So, why not warm up that connection?

You don't have to do anything really fancy, but a few that I've learned from various artists include:

  • Rays from a center point with the trick being that you always start from the center. This gets your hand moving in various directions.
  • Circles and ovals, varying between clockwise and counter-clockwise. Get your wrist loose and moving.
  • Boxes, squares, cylinders. Basic shapes.
  • Contour line drawings. Don't lift your pencil, just draw some things in a continuous line.
  • Basic shading, like a sphere.
  • Hatching and cross-hatching.
Spend 15 or 20 minutes, basic doodle approach, and just connect the mind to the hand before you start into your actual drawing.