Nobody really thinks about drawing as a physical activity… until they become injured.
As with anything physical, you’ll do your body some favors by taking a little time to warm up your muscles.
First, warm up with a few sketches. These don’t have to be your best attempts at illustration. You’re just warming your muscles up and preparing them for some specialized activity. You might warm up by practicing a few gestures you’ll be planning to implement in the illustration you’re planning to work on.
Here is a carpal tunnel exercise into your warm-up routine:
- Hold your arms out in front of you, stretching your fingers straight up.
- Point your fingers out so they form a straight line from your arms.
- Ball your hands up into fists, then bend your wrists down.
- Straighten your wrists and relax.
- Repeat this routine a couple times, then hang your arms at your sides and shake them out.
Lastly, learn the proper way to handle a drawing instrument. One of the most common mistakes beginners make is drawing from the wrist. When you draw, your entire arm should be in motion. Planting your elbow on the drawing table and using your wrist to move the pen will result in stilted curves and awkward lines. When you use your entire arm to draw, your drawing will be much more graceful and attractive.