convol-compassion rooty-respect community responsibility-robot horatio-honesty percy-perseverance enjoyment

Interactive Bar

Google Services






Primary School

Get in touch

Contact Details

Social Media

Drawing Exercises

Drawing Warm-ups: Colourful Gestural Drawings

During this exercise, you will try to see the whole drawing before you start looking in detail at a single part of it. Your drawings should be energetic and fun and made with lots of quick movements.

For this warm-up you will need:

coloured markers/ crayons/ pencils, sketchbook  or A3 cartridge paper, several simple still life objects such as fruit or vegetables


Gestural drawings are about using fast actions to make quick marks on paper however, just because they are about speed and motion, does not mean that they should be careless!

It is also important to work on all parts of the drawing at once. This means trying to draw and see the whole thing - you should get a quick impression of the composition (how all the objects sit on the page), form, negative space (the space between the objects) , line, dark and shadow, all at once. This sounds tricky but it is fun to do!


  • Set up a still life with various objects and begin drawing the arrangement with a pale colour.
  • Start by making a series of simple marks to show where a certain colour will go or where a particular object will sit and so on. By doing this you will be considering the whole picture, using the whole piece of paper in a rough, sketchy way.
  • Add layers of these sorts of marks, building up your picture. You should follow a pattern of looking then drawing, looking then drawing. Gestural drawings are full of mistakes! No erasers allowed - just keep making new marks on top of the old ones until you like what you see.
  • After a few minutes change to a second colour. Try to make these marks different to the first ones, varying your marks and working on all the different areas of the drawing at once.


For each layer of coloured marks, you might re-draw an element correctly, add a shadow or highlight, add a texture, capture a negative space or make something feel 3D.


From 'Drawing Projects for Children' by Paula Briggs