Getting ready for InkTober: Time for Practice Sheets!

The last weekend before InkTober 2019 begins!

I think it’s time to warm-up for the occasion 🙂

Muscle Memory

Notice how easy it is to draw your signature the same every single time? It does not matter if you write the signature small or large, with a thick or thin pen. It always looks the same. This is due to the muscle memory you have developed. If this works with your signature, it works in the same manner with any shape!

How long does it take to develop muscle memory?

Not long at all! Practice the shape that you want to improve every single day for 5 days in a row. Only a couple of minutes will be sufficient. After the third day, you will already notice a difference. But don’t stop now! We want to embed this into your long term memory. Keep practicing the shape for another couple of days.

I prepared a 2 page .pdf for you that contains all the common shapes used in tangling!

Practice Sheets - Free Download

Free Download: CPT Practice Sheets

The right way to practice

Each page contains a selection of shapes drawn in light grey. You should print 7 copies of each page.


Practicing Circles

Let’s begin the same way as we would start any other CPT session:

    • Prepare your work area. Pen and paper are ready.
    • Now smile! Yes, just smile for 60 seconds. This produces happiness chemicals in your brain.
    • Breathe into your chest (not your belly) on the count of 4, hold your breath for one second. Breath out slowly on the count of 6. Repeat this 8 times (while still smiling). The 60 seconds are up! And you just reduced your heart rate to a level that ensures that your brain is ready to expect a regular supply of oxygen. Due to the smiling and the breathing exercise you have:
      1. produced dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin. They make you happy 🙂
      2. you reduced your heart rate
      3. you reduced your blood pressure
      4. and you prepared your brain to work at full capacity!
    • Start with practicing circles. You will notice little arrows indicating in which direction to draw the shape.
    • Draw the first line of circles, shake your hand to relax, and only after that start on the second row. Ensure that you keep light pressure!
    • It takes approximately 3 minutes to draw the 56 circles.
    • Repeat this for 5 days! 3 minutes a day is all it takes!
    • On day 6 and 7, you only draw 28 circles (half the line).
    • You can now skip a day, then draw 14 circles. Skip a day, draw 14 circles and so on.
    • This shape is now embedded in your long term memory!

You are probably very enthusiastic and want to practice all shapes at once. That’s okay, but give yourself a little break after each new shape. Get up and stretch, and only then continue onto the next shape.

I highly recommend that you only do one page per day (or 4 shapes) and stretch this exercise over a period of 2-4 weeks. Practicing for 15 minutes a day is really enough!

When practicing shapes that connect (circles or boxes), concentrate on the start and endpoints where the lines connect. At first, you might need to slow down. On the third day, this should come naturally without much effort on your part. You will also be able to speed up the drawing. On the first day, you might be slow, the second day should be faster, and on the third day, you should have reached the speed of your regular tangling.

Final words: I would really appreciate if you would share your practice page from day 1 and day 5. Feedback is what makes me happy 🙂


PS: I nearly forgot that I have one more tip for you! Are you the type of person that easily forgets to pull through on a daily task? If you want to remember to practice each day, I recommend that you apply a technique called “Stacked habits“. For example, you brush your teeth – that’s a daily habit that you won’t forget, right? Well, make it a habit of brushing your teeth and right afterward you practice drawing one shape for 3 minutes. I guarantee that you won’t forget to practice! Of course, you can stack the task of practicing to any other habit that you already have. Maybe you drink a cup of tea when you get home? Well, stack tangling to this tea-drinking habit.  Or maybe in the evening you always check if all windows are closed. Right after this habit, you could ‘stack’ the habit of a 3-minute tangling practice.

7 thoughts on “Getting ready for InkTober: Time for Practice Sheets!

  • September 29, 2019 at 8:37 pm

    Thank you for this and God bless you for offering it for free!

    • September 29, 2019 at 9:19 pm

      Thank you for your kind words! We artists have to support one another.

  • September 29, 2019 at 10:00 pm

    On the second practice sheet, 4th line, last set of backwards C’s should we stroke upwards? I noticed that arrow goes down the exact same way as the first 10. Enjoying doing these but don’t feel I am much improved yet. Maybe by day 5. It’s only day 3 for me. Thanks again for these tho..

    • September 30, 2019 at 5:49 am

      Hi Melissa.
      Yes, the strokes should be upward in the second half.
      If you haven’t seen any improvement, then please time yourself. Each set of shapes should take approximately 3 minutes to complete. The goal is to get the movement embedded into your muscle memory. If you draw too slow, your brain won’t recognize the movement.

  • October 2, 2019 at 8:21 pm

    Thank you Ina!! Practice sheets are so helpful!!!! They are also great for those times you just don’t have any motivation.

  • October 19, 2019 at 6:18 am

    Wonderful excercise. Thanks.


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