Author Topic: Warming Up...  (Read 339 times)

Offline RobertFontaine

  • Junior Member
  • **
  • Posts: 57
  • Karma: 2
    • View Profile
Warming Up...
« on: February 12, 2017, 04:04:56 AM »
How long does it generally take you to warm up?

Each time I practice I find that my hand generally starts pretty shaky then after a while I get some control of the minuscule shapes and can start adding shading and majuscules.   I then tend to write words and phrases as my spacing and angles even out and after a while things star to actually look reasonable but then I'm pooped.  This usually takes about 60-90 minutes.

Is this a pretty normal progression?    I'm kind of hoping there will be a time when I don't have to burn all my energy just practising but I'm not there yet.

Offline jeanwilson

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 939
  • Karma: 153
    • View Profile
    • Pushing the Envelopes
Re: Warming Up...
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2017, 07:03:23 AM »
Very good topic.
For me, warming up is essential. How long it takes to warm up is a function of how embedded the style is in my brain/hand. Some styles only take 10 minutes to warm up. Anything for weddings in the copperplate or Spencerian family are 5 or 10 minute warm ups.

If I needed to do a piece in italic for an exhibit where I needed to show my best work, I would probably take two or three days - maybe longer - to brush up on my italics - and warming up -once I got to doing the piece would take longer. I can toss off an italic hand on an envelope, but I'm very rusty with broad edge.

Your window of 60-90 minutes sounds about right for how long you can stay focused. If I warm up for 10 minutes, I can usually work for an hour - plus a little. But after 90 minutes, I need to take a break. Once you get the style embedded in your brain/hand - your warm up time will shorten significantly.

I know some scribes who can write for 8-10 hours a day. For me, I can only get about 2 good hours in the morning and then another two hours in the afternoon. Maybe an hour in the evening. If I have to really push and put in a solid 7 or 8 hours of work to meet a deadline, I can do it. But the following day I know I will be worthless at producing quality work. Or I can push for 2 or 3 days in a row - and then I will need a couple days off.

If I had intended to make calligraphy a full time career, I am sure I could have done the work to build up to the 8 hour days, but I had no motivation to do that. Most people are squeezing calligraphy into busy schedules. I know many teachers who consistently offer this advice:
If you can put in 20 minutes of practice - every day, during the week - you will do better than just splitting that 2 hours and 20 minutes into 1 or 2 sessions on the weekend.

Offline JohnK

  • Freshman Member
  • *
  • Posts: 26
  • Karma: 2
    • View Profile
Re: Warming Up...
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2017, 08:42:59 AM »
Hi @RobertFontaine, the kind of cycle you describe is very familiar to me, thanks for bringing up this topic. 

I guess the key is, how can we extend the amount of time when we are writing well--after we are warmed up, and before we start to lose it.  I sometimes seem to get into that zone more quickly when I have an non-writing warm up first, something like light weight bearing exercise, yoga, stretching, or mild aerobic exercise.  On the mental side, music sometimes help me to get into the proper frame of mind more quickly.  I do agree with you that any way we can get more quickly into that state where we are writing well helps to extend the amount of good writing we can do before the exhaustion sets in.


Offline ash0kgiri

  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1336
  • Karma: 37
    • View Profile
Re: Warming Up...
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2017, 11:15:12 AM »
Hi Robert,
I always warm up before start. But what I do is, if I'm writing envelopes the an exchange I have a few extras and start writing as if it's final. For me the sooner I get on the final sheet of paper the quicker my fear of something going wrong disappears.

Some times the warm up happens when I'm trying to compose a big calligraphy piece on a normal paper. This is my version and it works for me.