Drawing Warm Ups

Drawing Warm-Ups

Grades 3-5

Materials: Pencils, paper, charcoal, paper lunch bags, small objects (not breakable or sharp), still life objects, cloth to cover objects.

Objectives: Help students relax and focus as they draw. Improve hand-eye coordination and begin to develop basic drawing skills. Develop tactile representation and translate it into visual representation.

Introduction: These are quick drawing exercises that can be used at the beginning of a lesson for drawing practice.

#1: Students do contour drawings of their hand, looking only at their hand (not at the paper) and never lifting the pencil.

#2: Repeat #1 with other objects/people in the room.

#3: Students do another drawing, this time spending 90% of their time looking at their hand and 10% looking at their paper.

#4: Students do a contour drawing of an object in a paper bag without looking into the bag, using their non-drawing hand to feel its edges as they draw.

#5: Students do gesture drawings of one another and of still life objects in the room, using quick scribbles to show what they see as they move their eyes all around their subject.

#6: Still life gesture drawing, showing composition.

#7: Students are told that they are going to collaborate on a cartoon character. Each student draws a pair of cartoon eyes and then passes their paper to the next student. The next student adds a cartoon nose to the drawing they’ve just received. The drawings are passed again and another feature is added each time. The game can be repeated, creating space aliens, superheroes, etc.

#8: Memory drawing: Students are given one minute to observe an arrangement of small objects on a table. Then the objects are covered up and the students draw everything they can remember. Uncover the objects and see how many they remembered. (Improves observation skills.)

#9: Mirror imaging worksheet. Improves hand-eye coordination.

Mirror Image Worksheet

#10: Upside-down drawing exercise. Copying simple line drawing turned upside-down. Improves observation.

#11: Negative space drawing. Students observe the still life and draw not the objects themselves, but the spaces between and around them. They then color in the negative space in black (using charcoal).

#12: Negative space drawing is repeated, but this time the positive space is filled in with charcoal, creating a silhouette.

Negative Space 1 Negative Space 2