He had and detailed planning as in all his mural work with the Indiana murals Thomas Hart Benton began by sketching out all the details that would go into them so important were these drawings to his process he called them pages from the book of my life.
We don’t know exactly how many drawings he did but one contemporary source said there must have been at least of which were of individual of his time on the project of the approximately six-month period allotted the mural from its beal portraits of individuals in Indiana and we know that the drawings were so important that Benton spent mosginning to its installation approximately form of those months were spent on drawing then used real individuals real people to pose for his portrait studies to give it a deeper sense of truthfulness in reality.
He not only did Benton do drawings of individuals in Indiana but he also did a large number of compositional studies to really fully understand the flow of the narrative and the design really it’s his life drawings that give the soul to the murals themselves.
They’re they’re really the truthfulness underneath his compositional they’re combined with his compositional studies which really provide the backbone the structure of the mural after he had done his compositional designs and really knew the flow of action from one scene into another he took it a step further by doing small clay models.
These were a tabletop size models that sometimes wikiart he would actually paint and he would light them dramatically somewhat like a stage designer might do a specific scene and from these he would do both color and black and white gouache studies to to fully understand the the lighting and the lighting of the figures the shading of the figures after his travels around the state