Put Motive First

With every new drawing I try to put motive first. It’s the motive or idea that determines everything from composition to material.

For example, the motive I have for this drawing is described in a list of words. These are the list of things I want to communicate in the drawing.

  • Motion
  • Action
  • Fierceness
  • Attacking
  • Texture

For the Tyrannosaurus I want to communicate a active dinosaur lunging, or about to lunge out of the page and into the face of the viewer. Then I begin to ask myself questions such as. How can the drawing be composed to illustrate action, motion and attacking? What materials would best communicate texture, motion and action? How can I communicate fierceness with the composition, method and materials?

These are not easy questions to answer, it takes research. It pulls me out of my comfort zone of just copying the image and reproducing what I already see. Now I’m just influenced by the image but not beholden to it, I can depart from it at any time as long as it fits my motive.

I put motive first because it adds purpose to my art. With this purpose in mind I bring a presence and intensity to my work that I’ve never had before.

Jurassic Park Drawing

Previous Tyrannosaurs Drawing Posts

Warm-up and DrawABox exercises

The normal 15 minute warm-up in graphite.


The challenges continue with the 250 box challenge. Okay, this page is just about perfect. I could have been a lot harder on some of the lines as they converge to quickly, or not quick enough, but this may just be the most accurate page of boxes I’ve ever drawn.

drawabox.com exercise

Drapery Study

The next schedule of exercises from The Natural Way to Draw book is all about studying drapery. But, as I read the beginning of the new chapter I realized that I don’t have the drapery necessary to start. Luckily we were out and about today and we stopped by a thrift store and I picked up a couple white table cloths that are going to work perfect. Hopefully tomorrow I will begin the new schedule.

Daily Composition and Sketch

I quick sketch of my cat and a quick composition of an older woman working the landscaping at the library.

daily composition and sketch

What went well, what was awesome! Celebrate It!

I had a wonderful morning of art and some fun bike riding with Pattie. I also did some research for the tyrannosaurs drawing to make sure I put motive first and communicate to the best of my ability.

What needs work? What did you learn?

I need to learn to do less so that my sleep is great and my stress levels are low.

How am I going to Optimize moving forward?

I’m going to try keeping my workouts simple and easy for a while and add in some short meditation sessions throughout the day.

Session Details