When I started art school long ago, one of my instructors said that if I wanted to be a good artist, one of the first things I should do is to buy a ream of typing paper and fill it with lines. First draw vertical lines on all of the sheets of paper, and on both sides. Then draw horizontal lines.
Then draw diagonal lines from left to right, and finally diagonal lines from right to left. The lines also had to be spaced equally apart.
So, I bought a ream of paper (which is 500 sheets) and got to work. By the time I filled about 40 sheets, I got bored. It was not an exciting exercise. After all, I wanted to be an artist not a draftsman!
After my first year of studies, I took up watercolor painting and found out the importance of that exercise.
I understood that I had finally left behind my coloring book days, and the grueling practice sessions learning cursive handwriting–all lessons learned using only the wrist.
However, in drawing and painting, those habits will not serve you well. You will find that movements with your wrist are restricting, resulting in you having to continually turn your paper or canvas. The line work will lack fluidity.
You will have a bit more range of motion with movement from your elbow.
But drawing from your shoulder will give you unlimited range of motion, especially when working on a larger piece.
Once you are able to control movement from your shoulder, you are more easily able to draw very small and very large lines in any direction without having to move your drawing surface around.
"Old Tree in Lone Grove" 28"X 16"
Drawing from the shoulder enabled me to make the initial drawing of this painting with more flow to capture the fluidity and continuity of the branches.