Like other sculptors, Chapu drew as much for his pleasure as to prepare his work. He made extensive use of jotters on which he wrote addresses, street-scenes or ideas for compositions, in pencil or above all in ink. If, once over his youth, these drawings had little to do properly speaking with sculpture, it is because they are mostly essays for gestures and attitudes. For Chapu, drawings were creative : by repeating the same lines, by modifying them imperceptibly from one sheet to the next, his hand found, gradually, the right shape. Dozens of sketches for the Christ aux anges (Christ with angels), L'Espérance (Hope) or the monuments celebrating Balzac, amongst others, thus made it possible to follow the creative path in which the three dimensional models were essential landmarks, though rarely definitive, towards the setting of shapes and volumes.
Thus Chapu could have said, like Rodin in 1895 : "My natural means are earth and pencil".