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Your Back-to-Work Warm Up

Updated: Apr 17

Aaaaannnnnnnd we’re back! We’ve eaten the turkey, opened the pressies, shopped the sales, and now (sigh) we’re here again. Right were we left off.

If, like us, you’re struggling to deal with the reality of the real world (HA!) then read on.

We’ve compiled some back-to-work warm ups in hopes we can help you reengage with your productive self and rediscover your flow. Well, you wouldn’t run a marathon without doing a few stretches first, would you? Come on, let’s do it together…


Take a piece of scrap paper and any drawing implement and scribble. Just scribble. For high achievers it might be hard to not try and create something that’s ‘good.’ We get it! But no one’s going to see this and it has no other purpose than to relax your mind and loosen your hand.


Take a flower photo reference or cutting from the garden and sketch it with your left if you’re a rightie or your right if you’re a leftie. The fact that you have little to no control over the pencil will help you to mentally loosen your grip on the exercise and any subsequent drawing task.


Put a brush (any brush) to paper in as many different ways as you can. Use light pressure to create thin lines or small dots and heavy pressure to create thicker marks, adjust your grip on the handle. Transition from light to heavy with one flick.

This is you practicing your individual moves before putting them into a sequence.


Take that reference and turn it at a 180 degree angle. It’s still a flower or a face or what ever it is, only it won’t ‘read’ in the same way. Your brain can only break it down into different shapes, it can’t necessarily predetermine what it is. It challenges your perception as to what it is and makes it harder for you to draw what you ‘percieve’ to be there. It’s much easier to this way to draw wha t is actually there.

5. Watch an artist in action

Most visual creatures get inspired watching another person painting, designing, etc. So if all else fails, students: Log into your Print School account for defibrillation. You might only need to re-watch a few seconds of your course before you’ll feel that creative electricity and your hands will be itching to create. Here’s a preview for non students and some free little clips of our master watercolorist, Ange, doing the thing that she does so well.


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