The Importance of Warming Up

I have heard people say, “Before you run or workout, make sure to warm yourself up first.” It will not only prevent injuries, but you will perform much better as a result. The advice is good, but beginners often see “warming up” as tedious and a waste of time. So they don’t really take it to heart until later down the road. And speaking of warming up, I believe it can apply to art as well. Let me explain…

Last year I had the opportunity to conduct my drawing experiment in Krita. I noticed that I have produced a lot of nice rough before bed, but then upon waking up the next day, I noticed that my drawing and roughing out the form wasn’t that great when compared to the ones done in the previous day / night. I didn’t understand why at first. But noticed that it’s only 1 hour into my practicing session did I start to do well, and my hand and mind was flying freely. This whole thing on “warming up” didn’t cross my mind yet, until I read somewhere about an artist who wouldn’t even begin to start his actual painting until he spent the first 6 hours warming up, doing rough sketches, etc… That’s when I saw the connection. Most of my rough sketches looked great from evening and onward because I was warming up in the morning. And sometimes when I couldn’t get to it in the morning, I noticed that I was only flying around an hour into the session.

I would say this will be different for everyone, depending on your skill level and experiences. Those that do art for a living probably warm up much quicker than those like myself who are just doing it on and off.

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