Welcome to another episode of Man vs Art.
On today’s show I am going present a little drawing exercise my eccentric 7th grade Art teacher Mrs. Smith used to work into the beginning of each class. With this simple 10 minute exercise 4 times a week I guarantee your drawing skills will improve.
The year was 1985,
My collar was flipped up on my alligator shirt,
the sleeves rolled up on my members only jacket,
and my pants were cuffed tighter than a Cholo who fit the profile.
Mrs. Smith had a plaque on the wall with the words “ten minute drawing” engraved across it. Every day she attached an index card with a humorous prompt directly below the plaque.
One day it was “Draw a chicken arm wrestling a duck in an old west saloon.”
The next day “Draw a hippo blowing out the candles on his birthday cake aboard a UFO.” and so on.
Fun and imaginative situations the kind you see in kids books.
Everybody in the class groaned about having to do a stupid drawing, everybody that is except me. This was the only part of school that didn’t bore me. I friggin’ LOVED it.
This ten minute drawing did two things.
- It loosened and warmed up my drawing arm. Which translated to smooth and flowing drawings. A good drawing is rarely rigid and labored.
- It also got my creative juices flowing so to speak. When I began my “real” drawing there was no lag time. My brain was already in full creative mode. It was go time!
For an Artist, having your hand warmed up and in sync with your brain greatly improves the odds of your next drawing being good if not awesome. It made me feel confident and prepared for whatever wacky assignment Mrs. Smith had cooked up for class that day.
I have devised a simple yet effective drawing regimen consisting of a series 10 minute sessions at least 4times a week . The goal being to quickly translate themes of varying complexity into a clear drawing. This is an extremely valuable exercise that doesn’t require a lot of time or fancy gear. Just your favorite pen or pencil, any paper you want and the desire to draw better.
It might not be a bad idea to get a sketchbook, and do all of the warm up drawings in there. That will certainly help keep you organized and you’ll be able to chart your progress.
I suggest a moleskin sketchbook. They are by far the best in terms of quality and their coolness factor is beyond epic.
I am going to make the 10 minute drawing a regular feature on Man Vs. Art. because I need to practice with my Wacom tablet.
Years ago while rummaging in my grandparent’s attic I found an old leather bound book with gilded pages. On the cover in golden script it said “Ten thousand and one silly drawing ideas.” I am going to take one idea every few days and post it for everyone to try. Along with it I will post a video demo of myself drawing out the prompt with my Wacom tablet.
Everyone is encouraged to participate. The only rule is that you limit yourself to no more than ten minutes. Doing this will condition you to make quick decisions and draw smarter not harder! The way a pro does it!When you are done, email me a copy or post it on Flickr and send me the link. I’ll then post it on Man vs. Art to chart your progress. I’ll answer any questions you may have. Then every month or two I’ll pick the artist who has made the most progress and he or she will win a killer drawing of themselves drawn by me. Here is a sample of portraits I have done.
PArt 2 of the 10 minute drawing series, the video demo will be following this post. Thanks for dropping by. Mi studio es tu studio. have and artful day! Raul