Check these fifteen+ drawing warm ups that are the perfect way to start any art class!

Drawing warm ups help turn on the creativity….

Whether you’re an adult or a young person creativity doesn’t just turn off and on at will. (Oh, how I wish!) Sometime that creative mood takes a bit of coaching.

In my experience the best way to start feeling creative is to start being creative. No pressure. No worrying about the end results.

A few minutes of unbridled making, the simple, no planning necessary kind is just what’s needed to get the right side if the brain fired up!

Drawing starters to make anyone feel creative…

These drawing starters are simple. They can be done with just a pencil and can be adapted to artists of any age.

Choose one drawing warm up to do as a group to begin art class or let your kiddos choose their own adventure!

  • Draw a dozen circles, or any shape, and fill each one with a unique pattern
  • Draw a scribble and “find” an image within the scribble to emphasize
  • Create a symmetrical drawing by having a pencil in each hand and allowing one hand to mirror the other
  • Share draw with a neighbor- draw something and pass your paper to a neighbor. Share back and forth or send a drawing around the room.
  • Draw a neighbor.
  • Draw how you feel today.
  • Create a value scale with lines, shapes, or a smooth transition.
  • Draw as many varieties of lines as you can imagine.
  • Draw a picture inspired by the first photo on your phone.
  • Use the shape of a scrap of paper to inspire a drawing.
  • Do a contour line drawing of an object you can see. (More info on contour line drawings here.)
  • Crumple up a piece of paper. Draw all the wrinkles and folds in the paper.
  • Draw a series of small frames on a single piece of paper. Fill them with objects of a single theme. Examples- flowers, dogs, landscapes, etc.
  • Draw the room you’re in. If that’s overwhelming choose a tiny portion of that room.
  • Choose a few random objects to trace around. Overlap shapes and consider the new shapes you’re creating.
  • Use a sketchbook prompt from KTC like this pack of sketchbook prompts for your technology loving students.
"Inspiration exists but it has to find you working."

When even the drawing warm ups leave you blank….

That “blank feeling” has happened to me and I’ve seen it happen to many students. That blank page can be scaryyyyy.

Some days all the drawing warm ups and stater ideas aren’t enough to make making things come easily. Stop trying.

Stop effort-ing. Trying harder does not welcome creativity. And if we’re talking about a student that doesn’t want to draw/refuses to draw/thinks they can’t draw….well, you can’t make them.

As a teacher you can give it your all to inspire your students but ultimately their choices are their own. Instead of fighting to get kids to take part in these drawing warm ups give them another option.

Make a list instead….

When all else fails make a list. Write in different colors, use different fonts, doodle around the words, anything to keep your pencil moving and making marks.

Make lists of anything and be open to moving from writing to drawing. Here are some suggestions….

  • places you’ve been/want to go
  • things you’re grateful for
  • pets
  • favorite artwork
  • things you can see from your spot
Fifteen five minute drawing warm ups for kids that require just pencil.

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