All Day Art Marathon

I’ve had an all day art marathon full of energy, motivation, research, cleaning, new exercises and a new process.

The next drawing is of The Princess Bride. This is one of our most favorite movies of all time. We love it so much that we use quotes from it often. Needless to say I’m quite motivated to work on this drawing especially considering my new process, outlined in my previous post, is enlightening and fun.

Luckily the idea came to me quickly this morning so I could move directly to the next phase of working up the motive in a series of thumbnails. Through the thumbnail process I pulled in influences from Bernie Wrightson’s Frankenstein compositions, Goya and NC Wyeth. I even tried working the thumbnails in Phtoshop but quickly abandoned it but only after printing out what I had done and adding it to my sheet below (the center thumbnail).

Composition Study

Each composition becomes more and more simplistic in order to get the major shapes organized for the best impact. One of the quotes repeated by Marshal Vandruff on the Draftsmen podcast I love is.

“Your compositions should be like great warriors. They should be able to kill at 100 yards.”

I’m not sure who said this, but it rocks! This is what I’m trying to achieve with this composition. I want it to be impactful at first glance then draw the viewer in the longer they look.

Previous Fandom Fitness Drawing Posts


The normal 15 minute warm-up in graphite.


Clothed Gestures

I’m constantly floored by all that I learn from The Natural Way to Draw. For years I’ve drawn from the nude model and all of my gestures have always been from the nude model. Then this new section in the book has opened my eyes to how wonderful it is to do gestures of real life people doing real life things.

“The advisability of studying drapery is obvious. The student will spend much more time drawing the costumed figure when he is out of school than he will drawing the nude, yet I have found that most students leave school with little or no conception of how to draw clothes.”

Kimon Nicolaides

I’ve done over 100 daily compositions now and not once has it occurred to me to do gestures or drawings from figures that are already clothed. Plus, I’m almost 100% sure that all my paintings in the future will be of clothed figures. Drawing gestures with the clothed figure has been a revelation and it was this exercise, that I did right after my warm-up, that catapulted me into an all day art marathon.

Clothed Gesture Tip!

If you look online for clothed figure reference you’re going to get a ton of super hero like crazy action poses of mostly very busty and half naked women flying though the air. That’s cool if you want to eventually do comics or something but not when you just want to depict real people.

I searched for hours before I found the perfect solution. Stock Photos! These sites are FULL of wonderfully lit photography of people doing regular things. All you have to do is go to one of the sites and search for any remedial task that we all do every day.

For example I’ll search for “Gardening” and this is what I get…

There are literally hundreds of thousands of images to choose from. Who cares if they have watermarks all over them. Those are easily ignored.

Daily Composition and Sketch

After doing a bunch of gestures of clothed people my confidence for doing a figure drawing from memory was tremendous. Plus I tried to add a bit of composing into the image. This was after I drew my cat 🙂

daily composition and sketch

What went well, what was awesome! Celebrate It!

A super long all day art marathon full of motivation and drawing!

What needs work? What did you learn?

Need to oscillate a bit more through the day and not burn out.

How am I going to Optimize moving forward?

I can set a timer for 90 minutes and always take a break from deep work.

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