Apr 24, 2011

'Drawing is the root of everything' - Vincent van Gogh

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Van Gogh, Detail of Self-portrait (1886) Pencil and ink on paper

By Tanveer Khadim 

"In spite of everything I shall rise again; I will take up my pencil, which have forsaken in my great discouragement, and I will go on with my drawings."

(Vincent van Gogh)

There is no doubt that the greatest 19th century Post-Impressionist painter who changed the course of the art history was Vincent van Gogh. his astonishing decade-long artistic career that was unfortunately ended in insanity, influenced the modern art by introducing a new method commonly known as 'Expressionism'.

Van Gogh used intense colours, agitations of lines and forms, vigorous broad brush strokes to express his inner feelings of anxieties, fears and his emotional relationship with the exterior world. His unique artwork put him in a league all his own.

Apart from 900 paintings, Vincent van Gogh produced nearly 1100 drawings. He drew numerous images just to have perfection in his skills. He mostly used pencil to draw and than reed pen to further enhance the drawing.

Once he mentioned;

"Before I began to paint, I had been drawing so much and studied perspective in order to build up the composition of the thing I saw."

Van Gogh always preferred to use a carpenter's pencil, that can produce heavy, thick lead. Sometimes he liked to use board, flat-pen to enhance the image. His later drawings are full of straight strokes, parallel strokes, swirling curlicues, hatched strokes, wavy strokes along with a variety of dots. 

It is very interesting to know that van Gogh used 'milk' on regular basis for the fixation of all his drawings. With a totally distinctive style of rhythmic form and line, with variety of numerous strokes, merging dots; he created beautiful work that demonstrated color and luminosity even in simple pencil's black n white drawings. His all ingeniously composed work is in pen, ink, graphite, chalk, charcoal and water-color.

During August 1882, he wrote;

"But I have attached great value to drawing and will continue to, because it is the backbone of painting, the skeleton that supports all the rest."


         Peasant Woman, Binding a Sheaf of Grain, Drawing Black Chalk, Nuenen: August, 1885                        

  Small House on a Road with Pollard Willows. Drawing, Charcoal heightened with white Etten: October, 1881

     Girl-Kneeling-in-Front-of-a-Bucket. Drawing, Pencil, charcoal, heightened with white. Etten; November, 1881
   Snowy Landscape with Stooping Woman Drawing Pen, Pencil, Nuenen: December, 1883                             
  Drawing, Pencil, pen and brush in brown ink, grey and green opaque watercolour, brown wash, on grey wove paper Etten: April, 1881

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