Thursday, April 21, 2016

Warm-Up Sketches

Pencil sketch of 3 men in a museum

A few days ago I came across this conversation on some social media platform, one man was expressing his disdain for the warm-up sketches. Not so much that he hates to do them, he very much dislikes how a lot of people show off what he considers finished pieces and call them a warm up. He believes a warm-up sketch should be various quick scribbles that don't necessarily have to look like anything in particular. I didn't partake in the discussion because the people involved seemed pretty hard set on their opinions and that's fine. However, I'm still thinking about this so I feel the need to voice my opinion on them.  I believe that they're an asset in whatever capacity you make them. Whether you're just scribbling to warm up your hands and arm muscles or you're trying to warm up your brain or both. If you need to warm up your brain your sketches are probably going to be more involved and look like a finished piece. Some people need both an appetizer and an entree and some people can fill up on just an appetizer. Some people consider running for a mile a warm up before they exercise and others consider tying their shoes all the warm up they need. I get that it can feel like a person is just showing off when they present a piece that looks finished as a warm-up sketch and maybe some of those people are showing off. Some people need that sort of attention, they need to be instantly validated. Don't let their needs effect how you work.  If all you need is a quick 2 minute scribble session before you get to work then do it. If you need to pine over your sketch before you feel comfortable to get to work then take your time. 
What do you guys think?  Is there a time limit on a warm-up sketch? Is there a limit on the amount of detail you can add to your warm-up sketch?  If you go over these limits does it automatically fall in the category of a finished piece? If a warm-up sketch is just a piece of paper filled with scribbles is it less of a sketch? In your opinion are warm-up sketches even worth the time? 

6 comments:

  1. This is the third discussion I've ventured into this week - all on unrelated topics - where someone somewhere feels there has to be one way or the highway with regards to how a thing is done and dissenters must die or mend their ways. It's ART for crying out loud...don't we cherish variety? I admit I'm as bad as anyone (I've been pretty hard on Ellsworth Kelly). If it doesn't impact one's eternal destiny, can't we do what we need to do?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yea, I think I dodged a bullet by not engaging in the original discussion. In this situation condoning someone else's efforts is most likely a reflection on their own work. They probably wouldn't be so upset if their work was just as good.

      Delete
    2. Condemning, not condoning. Stupid auto-correct!

      Delete
  2. I admit I not very good at using warm up sketches. It is just the way I have been doing it for years.

    ReplyDelete
  3. My personal thought.....I think we (including myself) sometimes take ourselves too seriously. I tell my students, "There's no Right or Wrong" to ART! Learn basic techniques/study your favorite artists, then find what works for you to express yourself." Getting upset over what works for one person and doesn't for another is a waste of time. Skill levels are all different as well....change or improvement only comes with practice. Hmmmmm, that means I'd better stop running around and paint or....even better....do "Timed" sketches....then paint! :D Thanks for opening the door here to what could be an even longer conversation. Yay....I've written a book already!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You said it perfectly, it's a waste of time getting upset or even worrying about how someone else works.

      Delete