Day 24: Importance of warming up mind and arm
I often skip warming up and just want to get straight into the life drawing session. But when I do warmup, I always think the session goes better. It’s like healthy eating – it makes everything better, but for some reason, I’m always tempted to not do it.
A lot of analysis is going on when you’re drawing a figure, but gesture also requires feel, instinct. A warmup can help you get into that mindset, to shift from analysis and control to a looser, go with the flow attitude. So here are some steps for a quick warm-up before today’s practice session. The first part is for the mind.
It’s about taking a moment to remember what the practice is for. It is not about great drawings, it is about learning. Learning can be confusing, learning involves things not working and learning involves moments where you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing. So we can expect all that as part of a good practice session.
The second part is just to get your arm moving and your eye seeing and get them connected. We have looked at the two lines, where you draw various curves cutting through 2 points.
I also like to draw a line and a curve next to each other, and hatch the space created between them.
From here, try some cubes, perhaps with some twist to them. And some spheres and cylinders using big smooth lines.
It can also be fun to do some dynamic small figures from imagination. I like to draw a sharp angle or a big sweeping curve or both, and from there try to create a dynamic figure. If this is too tricky, don’t worry about it – the warm-up should be relaxed and not frustrating.
So before today’s session, maybe while Larry is introducing it, take a minute or two to get into a good mindset, warm up your arm and then dive into those short poses with gusto. I hope you enjoy it, and I’ll see you tomorrow!