Your favorite break routines

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Sixtieseven 5 years ago.

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    In 2017, I drew a whopping 1 full image. This year, I've drawn nothing up until the rebuild of the site. That's a lot of downtime from drawing!

    I'm trying to get 2 to 4 drawing sessions a week in, about 10 minutes each. I find that any longer I can't physically sustain the act of drawing anymore, everything gets crampy. I forgot what I used to do when I drew frequently to help soothe aches, or what to do during short breaks that wouldn't suck all my attention away.

    What kind of hand exercises do you prefer to do, to help your hand stay loose and comfortable? And what do you like to do during short breaks when you're in a class mode?

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    Well, for me atleast, I hold my wrist and spin my hand around. I sometimes grab each individual finger of an open palm with an arm stretched forward and pull them back. I also try to do the 'raindrop' technique. You hold closed fists infront of you, both separate, and shake your hands and open them as if you're holding water in them. It helps loosen the hands a little. Also, I know there's a massage technique called raindrops but we call it raindrops cause it's a fun name!

    What do I do during short breaks? I usually don't use class mode. I kind of use five minutes or 30 seconds most of the time. If you're having a break, I recommend letting yourself relaxed and think over your previous sketches. What went right or wrong? What could I improve upon?

    Sorry if this isn't helpful that much, but I hope I offered something of use.


    Hey Sanne, I actually do a fews things, that in tandem, help me stay loose, avoid hand cramping and keep me from losing focus, might not be for you, but I though it couldn't hurt to mention it!

    One of the main things I do for figure drawing in class mode, is to use a large newsprint print pad (45.7cm x 61cm) so that all of my lines, even some of the details, can be made with larger strokes. It means I don't have to tense my hand to keep precise control and that helps avoid cramps. Second thing, I don't rest my hand on the page, usually my fingertips drag along the paper, but I draw "from the shoulder" as they say, which means my wrist stays in a loose, comfortable, neutral position. Lastly, I know it's not possible for everyone, I draw standing up! This means I can shift my weight, move around the drawing (no rotating the page for me :p) and generally stay mobile, which helps my neck and shoulders from becoming tense.

    When it comes to breaks, my major rule is not to sit! If I stay standing it keeps me from sitting down at the computer and getting lost on the internet, when I swore I'd "just watch one video". Aside from that I usually grab a drink, do some stretches, clap my hands, pace about, sing, dance, just something to keep my energy up.


    I haven't really thought about having breaks until recently, my pinky has started to act up if I sit too long - I usually just put my arm elevated on a pillow after a light stretch and then I use my left hand to browse the web. I've realized that practicing smarter is better than just doing a lot of drawings x) so now I look more than I draw - especially sit and browse artstation and try not getting crushed but inspired by all the amazing artworks.


    Thanks for all the input! I'm sure this info will be helpful to others if not for me, so please don't be afraid to share. I'm sure this is something the entire community can benefit from.

    @Whotower: Thanks! I'll try those techniques. :) I also like the idea of reflecting on previous drawings during breaks, that's helpful!

    @Flarebrush: Ooh that's a good way to go about it. I don't draw on paper, I draw digitally and don't have an adjustable desk, so drawing standing up is not an option unfortunately. But I'm certain that it's something a lot of people can try.

    @Line: Practicing smarter is an excellent mantra. :)


    I don't know how helpful these are, as they may end up hurting, but I like to do forearm stretches. Heres the stretches I do (taken from ):

    As for breaks, I like to get up and move around, stretch a bit, and just generally do a self checkup. How am I feeling, do I need to use the bathroom, am I hungry, do I need to take a longer break, do I need to stop the class- things like that. I'm also trying to get into the habbit of drinking water on my breaks. Just remember not to push yourself too far- your health is more important than your drawing! Best of luck.

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