What is a ‘Warm Up Exercise’ in Art?

It is very common in many art classes, particularly drawing classes to start with a ‘warm up’ exercise and we are not talking keep fit!  What is it and why is it important?

Just like a music lesson where you might start with a vocal warm up, a drawing warm up does the same.  It is a way of getting ready to work on more developed studies and getting us ready to draw and paint.  A drawing warm up is not about producing polished studies, it is a quick activity of usually ten to twenty minutes that usually concentrates on one particular skill.

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What is Mark-making?

Often art teachers refer to ‘mark-making’ but what does this mean?  It is a term that means just that – to make marks.  You may think that mark-making is just for kindergarden children but no, it is a useful activity for all.  Being completely new to materials mark-making can be a great way to gain confidence with media (art materials).

Mark-making is an exciting area of art

Enjoy the process of making as many marks you can with pencils, pastels and paints. Once you experiment there are so many variations to mark-making; swirls, dots, dashes, smudging… more that you think!  Sometimes something simple like  holding the pencil or brush in a different way can produce new marks.

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