If you google warming-up online, you'll find all sorts of lists to encourage you to do so, but it's all for exercise. I don't find the same for art. Perhaps that's because we seldom do any kind of warm-ups before we draw. The closest I've ever heard of is creating a thumbnail of the subject before you start your work. But I'd like to submit that doing simple warm-ups before you start will help you get loose and help you flex your tactile skills.
Let me suggest the following six warm-ups, along with some drawing examples of how these exercises can help--some can be used interchangeably. By the way, I am placing all my lessons and drawings in journals now. So here's a peak from my warming up page.
Circles and Spiral Lines
For Wassily Kandinsky the circle was supreme: "the circle is the synthesis of the greatest oppositions. It combines the concentric and the eccentric in a single form, and in balance."
|Circles in a Circle, Kandinsky1923|
Part of Pablo Picasso's (1881-1973) War and Peace series, this preparatory drawing was one of many in the 1950s. Notice his use of the oval and other shapes.
|Head of a Woman|
I love to pour over the drawings of both Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606-1660) and Edgar Degas (1834-1917). Their lines are so crisp and precise but at the same time freeing.
|Bearded Man Looking Down, Rembrandt|
|Edmond Duranty, 1879 Degas|
Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) used the curved line a lot! Look at most of his paintings and you will see a perfect example of curve line use.
|Starry Night, 1889, Van Gogh|
|Study for the head of Leda 1503-7, da Vinici|
Again, another example of angle lines and others that Rembrandt's uses in this drawing. It's one of my favorites.
|The Card Player, 1641, Rembrandt|
Anything you want!
What's coming up?