Vincent van Gogh drawings - part 1

Two Self-Portraits and Several Details 1886 pencil, pen & ink 31.1 x 24.4 cm
Generally overshadowed by the fame and familiarity of his paintings, Vincent van Gogh's more than 1,100 drawings remain comparatively unknown, although they are among his most ingenious and striking creations. Van Gogh engaged drawing and painting in a rich dialogue, which enabled him to fully realise the creative potential of both means of expression.

Largely self-taught, Van Gogh believed that drawing was "the root of everything." His reasons for drawing were numerous. At the outset of his career, he felt it necessary to master black and white before attempting to work in colour. Thus, drawings formed an inextricable part of his development as a painter. There were periods when he wished to do nothing but draw. Sometimes, it was a question of economics: the materials he needed to create his drawings—paper and ink purchased at nearby shops, and pens he himself cut with a penknife from locally grown reeds—were cheap, whereas costly paints and canvases had to be ordered and shipped from Paris. When the fierce mistral winds made it impossible for him to set up an easel, he found he could draw on sheets of paper tacked securely to board.

Van Gogh used drawing to practice interesting subjects or to capture an on-the-spot impression, to tackle a motif before venturing it on canvas, and to prepare a composition. Yet, more often than not, he reversed the process by making drawings after his paintings to give his brother and his friends an idea of his latest work. Van Gogh produced most of his greatest drawings and watercolours during the little more than two years he spent working in Provence.

This is part 1 of a 5-part post on the drawings of Vincent van Gogh:

1873 Old Woman Asleep after Rops

1876 Vicarage and Church at Etten pencil on paper

1878 “Au Charbonnage” Café

1880-1 French Peasant Woman Suckling Her Baby (after Dalou - see below) pencil & wash

1873 Peasant Woman with her Child by Aime Jules Dalou terracotta 125 cm high

1881 A Digger pencil, black chalk, watercolour 62.1 x 47.1 cm

1881 A Girl Raking black chalk, watercolour 58 x 46 cm

1881 A Man with a Broom black chalk, watercolour 55 x 27.5 cm

1881 A Marsh pencil & ink 42.5 x 56.5 cm

1881 A Sower (after Millet - see below) pencil, ink & wash 61 x 40 cm

1850 Jean-François Millet The Sower oil on canvas 105 x 86 cm

1881 An Old Man Putting Dry Rice on the Hearth pencil, black chalk, watercolour 56 x 45 cm

1881 Barn with Moss-Covered Roof pencil & ink 47.3 x 62 cm

1881 Daughter of Jacob Meyer pencil

1881 Digger black chalk

1881 Farmer Sitting at the Fireside and Reading pencil & watercolour

1881 Man Putting Potatoes in a Sack ink

1881 Portrait of Vincent van Gogh, the Artist's Grandfather pencil, brush & ink heightened with opaque white

1881 Road with Pollarded Willows and a Man with a Broom black chalk, ink & watercolour 39.5 x 60.5 cm

1881 The Evening Prayer (after Millet - see below) pencil, ink & watercolour 47 x 62 cm

1857-59 The Angelus (aka Evening Prayer) by Jean-François Millet oil on canvas 55.5 x 66 cm

1881 The Garden of the Parsonage with Arbour pencil, ink & watercolour 44.5 x 56.5 cm

1881 Woman Sewing black chalk & watercolour 62.5 x 47.5 cm

1881 Worn Out pencil, ink & watercolour 23.4 x 31.2 cm

1882 Carpenter's Workshop, Seen from the Artist's Studio pencil, pen & brush, heightend with opaque white 28.5 x 47 cm

1882 Man and Woman Seen from the Back pencil

1882 Man with Pipe and Eye Bandage pencil, black chalk, wash, heightened with opaque white

1882 Man with Top Hat pencil & black chalk

1882 Nursery on Schenkweg pencil, pen, black chalk, heightened with opaque white 29.5 x 58.5 cm

1882 Old Man Reading pencil & wash

1882 Old Man in a Tail-coat pencil

1882 Old Man in a Tail-coat pencil

1882 Old Man with a Stick pencil

1882 Old Woman with a Shawl and a Walking-Stick pencil, pen & ink & watercolour on paper

1882 Orphan Man with Cap, Seen from the Back pencil & black chalk

1882 Orphan Man with Top Hat charcoal & crayon on paper

1882 Sien's Mother's House Seen from the Backyard pencil, pen & ink, heightened with opaque white 29 x 45.5 cm

1882 Sorrow black chalk 44.5 x 27 cm

1882 Sorrow pencil & wash on paper 28 x 44 cm

1882 Study of a Tree pencil, ink, black chalk & watercolour

1882 The Bench pencil, pen & ink on paper 27.9 x 36.2 cm

1882 The Houses on Schenkweg where Van Gogh Lived pencil, black chalk & sepia

1882 The Sower pencil, brush & ink on paper

1882 View of Scheveningen pencil & watercolour