I always try to find parallels to other art forms as I study my own. Being able to see connections is always really useful and I've recently been finding a lot of connections to the world of animation. The animators go through a process that is actually very academic. They sketch, storyboard and create many drafts to find the right poses and frames. They are searching for a good composition, just like an academic painter. The sketchbooks of many of these artists are also beautiful. I've been reading a nice book about this all that includes many interesting chapters. Here's a link to where you can find it. It's a good book to pick up. I found mine at a local book store that I frequent.