Laying Down Material

Today’s session on the Princess Bride drawing was all about laying down material and grinding it into the paper.

One thing I’ve learned after doing all these drawings is that working with charcoal mostly imprecise but you can cover a lot of ground with it quickly. Only, “quickly” comes in after the initial white of the paper and all its interstices is filled. The comes the refinement.

You may be wondering what the big blue line is across the drawing. It’s a thing strip of painters tape I’m using to cover Wesley’s sword. Because charcoal is so imprecise and I need a perfectly sharp line to cover most of the drawing I’m protecting that line with tape.

Princess Bride drawing

Previous Princess Bride Drawing Posts


The normal 15 minute warm-up in graphite.


One Minute Clothed Gestures

The Natural Way to Draw is a book that I would recommend to any artist that wants to move beyond the surface and into why art is made in the first place. The gesture drawing exercises continue throughout the book and I feel it should be something that every artist does.

Daily Composition and Sketch

I drew a couple skulls from a stock photo. Then I drew an image of a man sitting from one of the photos that I use for my clothed gestures bank. I sketched it in from memory then went over the drawing and corrected all that I had forgotten, which was a lot.

daily composition and sketch

What went well, what was awesome! Celebrate It!

Today was a very relaxing day and my art session felt really productive due to laying down material on the Princess Bride drawing which covered a lot of area.

What needs work? What did you learn?

Painters tape seems to work really well for protecting areas of paper that you don’t want covered when you throwing a bunch of charcoal around. I’ll find out if it really worked in a few days.

How am I going to Optimize moving forward?

I tapped into my identity today and kept away from snacking and over eating and I feel much more calm than normal. I plan on continuing this.


  1. Hey Chris,

    A word of warning about painter’s tape. I don’t know what kind of surface you’re using, but it does have a tendency to take off some of the surface of the paper when you pull it up. The white artist’s tape is better in that regard, but even that will take some of the surface fo the paper when you pull it up. I hope that doesn’t happen to you. I would encouage you to be extra careful when removing it.

    • Thanks Jeff, I’ll do a test on it today just to make sure. I’ve been using it to hang up a bunch of my drawings on the wall with no issues but that was after they were finished. I’ll even see if there is some residue left behind from the tape and report back.

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