Xena Drawing With Motive

Instead of just drawing what I see in the photo I focused on drawing with motive today.

The three words I wrote down that were the basis for my motive were: tension, fighting and action. Throughout the hour or more of drawing today I kept referencing these words to make sure that every stroke of my pencil was expressing one of them.

Without motive, painting is only some sort of difficult jugglery.

The finer the motive, the more the artists sees significance in what he looks at, the more he must be precise in the choice of his terms.

Robert Henri

This quote from The Art Spirit by Robert Henri is about painting, in fact almost all he talks about is painting, but I feel it is also true for drawing. We must always be drawing with motive.

That is, we must have a purpose for our expression that is beyond just copying of what we are seeing. What are we trying to communicate?

Remember art is a visual language and it’s purpose is for you to communicate more than just what you see, but what you feel about what you see. Would ever love poetry by Robert Frost if he just described objectively his surroundings? Might as well read an encyclopedia.

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

–Robert Frost

I love that poem…

Drawing with motive

Other Xena Posts

That list is getting a bit too long. I better finish this drawing and move on soon. 🙂

Modeled Drawing

Here is a twist on a previous exercise from The Natural Way to Draw.

This is the same as the previous modeled drawings but with a ball point pen. I focus on the parts of the body that are receding into space and press my pen harder into the paper, trying to feel the depth of the form.

drawing with motive

I honestly enjoyed drawing with a pen. There is something about the fluid motion with which it travels over the paper that seems to fit gesture and modeled drawings well.

What went well?

Lots of time on Xena and drawing with motive!

What didn’t go so well?

Rocky start to my morning, I was getting too upset with my cat and his interruptions. I soon put down what I was doing and focused on him and gave him some love.

What did I learn and/or how can I do better?

Not getting too upset with my drawings when I see them in digital format. I’m normally excited about a drawing as I’m doing it then when I see it here, I dislike it and tend to think negatively on my abilities.

Session Details