Warm Up and Activate Your Right Brain

Like in any physical exercise it is good to make a warm up time before drawing or sketching. Our daily life often makes us exhausted and mentally tired. We are then almost unable to sit quietly and concentrate on reading or writing, let alone on drawing or sketching.

To minimize this “modern times” sickness, I recommend a warming up time. It really quiets down your mind and at the same time activates your right brain. I would say it is a kind of drawing and sketching meditation.

You can create your own warm up time by sketching a few two or three-dimensional forms such as:

  • CUBES
  • SPHERES
  • CYLINDERS
  • CONES
  • PYROLETTES – Face Frofile Vases
  • I personally recommend the Pyrolettes. They are simple and they will let you concentrate effectively. They are the short-cut to quieting down your mind.

    At first you may not see or feel any significant changes but I promise you as you continue to practice only a few minutes you will feel the difference. It cannot be any other way, because this is how our brain works.

    You can also sketch any other objects as you like. There isn’t any “the only way” to do it.

    Hold the pencil loosely and never ever mind not being accurate. Accuracy or exactness does not mean much here. You can use only your wrist in the beginning and, then use your whole arm. Relax your grip. Just play with it.




    By sketching these three flat things you practice shading. The gradation of shading. The bottom is the darkest and then you just work out to the top, lighter and lighter. You can make as many layers as you wish; it doesn’t need to be only three.






    This was supposed to be a bottom up bowl – you can call it UFO – or whatever. Just shade the spherical shape by simple strokes that corresponds with the shape of the bowl, slightly round.






    Here you have a brick-shaped thing. Proportions or dimensions are irrelevant. The approximate shape is what counts. Simply shade this object as you wish. These pictures are only for your reference. You can even copy them exactly as they are if you can’t figure out how to draw your own original, it doesn’t really matter.




    Draw a circle. See the circular lines above? They are anything else but exactness. The point is to quiet down your mind and warm up, not to literally sketch or draw.




    Now, by shading the circle you will create a sphere. Imagine the light is coming from the left side. A shade under the sphere is rather an uneven ellipse.




    Cone is very simple and easy. Try to shade it on the right half of the body by half-round strokes. It will create an impression that the cone is really a cone, not a pyramid.




    Yes I know this should have been a cube, but I was lazy to erase and correct the lines…and I left it as it came out at first. Whatever shape comes out on your first trial is good. Do not correct it if possible. This is only a warm up exercise.




    Drawing Pyrolettes – Face Profile Vases are one of the best ways to relax and concentrate. I like to draw them because they really let you use the right half of the brain. Sometimes it even gets you irritated that you are simply un-able to draw the second half of the vase the same. Imagine drawing a human face-profile, left or right, any side is OK. Then on the opposite side draw the mirror effect of the same profile. The more profiles you draw the better you get in it.




    You can use paper with lines if you like, because the lines will help you keep the right proportions.




    Then you simply line up as many faces – vase-profiles – as you like. I used to draw about 20 to 30 Pyrolettes on one A4 sheet of white blank paper. I also admit that I don’t always want to do it, because it makes my brain change the working mode from left to right side. It makes me feel uncomfortable. But after only a few minutes you just do not feel like returning back to left side brain mode again. I can assure you, the right side brain mode is very pleasant. Practice this exercise and reap the benefits.


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