Sunday, October 19, 2008

Visual Warm-Up Exercises

From the 1st day of class of Introduction to Pastel, taught by Sandra Warren Gobar, an ingenious stepped warm-up exercise, which can be done all on one sketchbook page (9x12) as shown:
  1. first, walk around the area (if plein air), your scene, or around the still life set-up and find your view, the view that you want to engage; situate yourself in front of that view.
  2. do a preliminary 1-minute warm up sketch
  3. next do a 40-second two-step (look up and look down) contour drawing
  4. now a 10-second gesture drawing
  5. then do a 30-second blind contour drawing
  6. finally, do a 1-minute warm up sketch
The theory behind all this is that, in the first minute you initially engage and explore, without being allowed to get too anal. During the first contour you find the lines. The gesture finds the movement. The blind contour forces you to look more carefully. And the last sketch is the one with the most "visual information". Is it your final composition? I dunno. But putting all these on the same sketchbook page is very handy. You can actually see your thoughts. Very revealing and instructional.

ADDENDUM: Possible plein air locations, in DC:

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