Art Room Warm-Ups


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Warm-Up Exercises

For the art classroom.

A List of Warm-Up Exercises I’ve Created for the Art Classroom

  • Set up small still-life vignettes at each table or group of tables. Ask students to complete a 10 minute contour line drawing of the set up.

  • Give students 10 minutes to draw several contour line drawings of their hands.

  • Give students 10-15 minutes to draw several gesture drawings of their table partners. Set a timer for 1 minute for each drawing. Tell students to switch partners or to switch poses after each minute.

  • Give each student a paint chip and ask them to create 3 different color schemes based around the chip. Ask them to identify whether the paint chip is a tint, tone, shade, mute, etc.

  • Play a 5 minute piece of music and have students participate in an automatic drawing to the music.

  • Project a piece of art onto the whiteboard or screen. Ask students to complete a 10 minute analysis using the Feldman Method (describe, analyze, interpret, judge).

  • Warm up crit! Have students trade artwork or sketchbook assignments and begin class with a 10-15 minute partner critique.

  • Give students three colors of paint and ask them to mix as many colors as they possibly can out of them.

  • Give students a piece of an artwork and have them work together to figure out how the pieces go together. Can use multiple pieces of artwork. After students find their art piece group, the groups can discuss the artwork using the Feldman Method or utilize this group for another activity.

  • Philosophical chairs warm-up - pose a question on the whiteboard. Ask students to pick a side based on their prior knowledge on a particular issue related to art. As the class or lecture progresses, ask them where they stand on the issue as they gain more information.

  • Give each student a set of cut out shapes and ask them to create a composition utilizing asymmetrical balance.

  • Graffiti Talk - students get a piece of chalk or a marker. Pose a question or topic and ask students to write down as many things as they know about the topic, activating prior knowledge. Students can write outside on the ground with chalk or on pieces of poster paper in the classroom. Have students complete a gallery walk and point out insights.

  • Project three words on the screen and ask students to discern what their relationship is. Have students share out their answers using equity sticks.

  • Give students a small paper or card (5”x8” is a good size). Have them complete a collage using images from magazines. Ask them to write a reflection on the symbols they used.