Motive is the Root of Motivation

I have two amazing realizations for you today, the first is about my drawing of Snape and the second is about how motive is the root of motivation.

“There is an orchestration throughout the whole canvas. Nothing is for itself, but each thing partaking of the other is living its greatest possibility, is surpassing itself with vitality and meaning and is part of the making of a great unity. So with the works of the great masters.

Do not tell me that you as students will first learn how to draw and then afterwards attend to all this.

It is only through such motives that you can learn to draw. This kind of thought is drawing, the hand must obey the spirit. With motive you will become clairvoyant of means, will seize and command them. Without motive you will wabble about. “

Robert Henri

Before this quote on page 22 of The Art Spirit Robert Henri explains all the details that go into making a meaningful piece of art and then challenges how many of us put technical learning over motive and motivation.

But motive is the root or motivation. Our motivation grows from our motive, our ideas, our thoughts, feelings and wants. Let’s get a good grasp on what we want to communicate first then find the means to do that.

What is your motive? What feelings, emotions and ideas do you want to communicate in your work? How can you focus on that a little more today and then find the techniques to communicate your motive?

Fandom Fitness Drawing

As I was drawing Snape today I was thinking about the textures that I like to use to describe value over form. For this drawing I’m not using straight perfect hatching, that method is too mechanical and not emotional enough. Instead I’m using small random slashes all over his face.

This led me to think about a specific part on one of the Harry Potter books where we learn about the dark spell Sectumsempra. The spell slashes a person with a bunch of cuts all over their body and I saw this similar to how we sometimes feel emotionally when going through life. We build up a thousand little cuts over our psychology. Severus Snape definitely has many of these emotional cuts.

The technique I’m using to describe his form is serving my motive which is then further increasing my motivation for the work.

Serverus Snape Drawing

Previous Severus Snape Drawing Posts


The normal 15 minute warm-up in graphite.


One Minute Gestures

The one minute gestures exercise from the The Natural Way to Draw book is the “meat and potatoes” of all the exercises. I do more gestures than anything and it’s great training for all my art.

What went well, what was awesome! Celebrate It!

I woke up refreshed this morning with great sleep and ready to take on a day then because my mind was energized I had two awesome realizations and I feel that I communicated the idea that motive is the root of motivate well in my video.

What needs work? What did you learn?

Consistency on my energy and practice.

How am I going to Optimize moving forward?

Remember my fundamentals and why every single one is important for keeping my body healthy and energized so I can create at my best every day.


  1. I loved the idea as we were talking about it, because I’m including the Sectumsempra spell in the workout Snape represents. So fitting. Such a powerful character with just so much symbolism all around him.

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