Quick look at Vincent van Gogh’s landscape drawings

van-gogh-roadLooking at Vincent van Gogh’s (Dutch, 1853–1890) landscape drawings was a treat and has helped me to appreciate what a wide ranging talent he possessed. I noted the masterful use of perspective and wonderful use of different weights of line to create texture. A couple of interesting examples are

(1) Road in Etten (see above) 1881, Chalk, pencil, pastel, watercolor

(2) Street in Saintes–Maries, ca. July 17, 1888
Pens (including reed pen), brush, and iron gall ink over chalk on wove paper

(Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)

While being very structured and closely observed in terms of perspective, these drawings also convey a great sense of vitality –  it must be those characteristic wavy lines.

I also found it interesting to take note of the adventurous combinations of drawing materials van Gogh used including  ink and chalk, pencil and pastel and watercolour, coloured inks, etc.

I looked up iron gall ink (also known as iron gall nut ink, oak gall ink, and common ink) and discovered it is a purple-black or brown-black ink made from iron salts and tannic acids from vegetable sources. It was the standard writing and drawing ink in Europe, from about the 5th century to the 19th century, and remained in use well into the 20th century. (Source Wikipedia).


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