The concept of warming up for calligraphy is similar to warming up to play a sport.
Warming up with drills and strokes for just 15 mins before you practice gives your hands and arms the opportunity to get used to the motion of writing.
Personally, it gives me a few minutes of zen which mentally prepares me for practicing calligraphy.
There are many types of drills that can be done using a pencil as well as an oblique holder, let me take you through the 3 most simple and effective ones.
But before we look at the drills, I want to take you through the types of movement -
Whole Arm Movement
We use finger movement while writing lowercase letters as the area we work with is quite small whereas wrist and whole arm movements are used for uppercase letters as well as flourishing.
Now you must be wondering "Why is Sanjana telling me about these movements" haha.
Now that's because while practicing your drills, it's imperative that you use your whole arm movement, this will tremendously help you with your script and you'll see how your hand will start gliding on the paper helping you create some beautiful strokes. It's not an overnight process of course but it'll definitely help you improve your script.
1. The Push-Pulls - Move your elbow forwards and backward as you lightly put your pen to paper, Use your entire arm to do so and not just your fingers. Remember to stay in the writing zone.
2. The Ovals - Start making ovals in an anti-clockwise motion and allow the movement to originate from your upper arm. Observe the example above, aim to keep the slant and size of the ovals consistent.
3. The Infinity Loops - The foundation of most if not all flourishes is this drill. Again, the movement comes from your upper arm or elbow. Aim for 20 loops per set and be sure to try them in different sizes and directions.
PS: Another thing that I've been doing with Ewan in the studio and have found to be very useful are some simple stretches like neck, arm, and hip, rotations, stretching the back to feel the space around you, and opening up the body before you actually sit down to write.