Warm-up sketches


Warm-up sketches helps to “warm up” the brain before tackling intensive work in the studio. As a painter, sketching also help me get back to the cord of my skills – drawing. I personally like to do contour line drawings for about 10-15 minutes. Any subject matter will do. Today I have used images from my garden as subjects (drawn on sketchbook paper with a marker.) But, I have also drawn impromptu still life subjects right in the studio – jars of brushes and the like.


This technique for warm-up sketches was part of my first-year figure drawing classes at Rochester Institute of Technology.  I use it a lot and find it to be a highly effective way to tune-in your brain and hand-eye coordination, and prepare for a intense session of drawing or painting.

  1. Collect your drawing surface: paper, or other drawing surface
  2. Collect your drawing utensil(s) – pencil, pens, crayons, etc.
  3. Find a subject to draw – this should be a quick drawing, so don’t labor over the subject matter. Sometimes my cat wanders into the studio to nap and I draw him.

The length time you spend is up to you! The point is to feel ready to tackle your primary focus in the studio, relax, and enjoy your work.

Let me know how you are doing with your warm up sketches and if you have tips that you would like to share. Contact me by email or on Facebook or Twitter.

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