VisionHold onto your vision through all stages - gesture, lay-in and rendering. All the masters were great visionaries, they maintained the original vision all the way through.
The problem - when rendering, how to make the detail not destroy the original idea, but to refine it, strengthen it, and make it even better.
The more you work on something, it tends to devolve toward the bland and symmetrical.
Everything you add must support the idea, it's all there to help it, and must serve that purpose. Just as in a story everything must support the theme.
Gesture - movement between forms or from form to form
Structure - movement of the forms.
Dot-to-dot - creates closure
Suggest roundness of form with a dotted line rather than a solid line.
All detail must reinforce either the gesture or the structure - leave out anything that doesn't. Once you've clearly established the big idea (theme, as in story or movie, as opposed to plot) then you can go ahead and include a few small details that work against it or don't support it, like putting a few jokes in a horror movie.
Details (dotted lines) can also suggest gesture - stretch or pinch.
Pinch tends to show both gesture and structure.
Composition = take a simple amoral design element (color, color temp, perspective, what have you) and give it a moral element. Like the way color or sound is often used in films as a motif. Give them meaning. Beyond just aesthetics.