Largely self-taught, van Gogh started his career copying prints and reading nineteenth-century drawing manuals and books. His technique grew out of the idea that to be a great painter you had to master drawing first. Van Gogh felt it was necessary to master black and white before working with color, and so he focused on learning the essentials of figure drawing and depicting landscapes in correct perspective.
It was only when he was satisfied with his drawing technique that he began adding in colors and his bold palette became one of the most recognizable features of his later work.
Van Gogh completed over 1,000 drawings in total and regarded drawing as a basic task enabling him to grow artistically and to study form and movement. Drawing was also a means of channeling his depression.
Van Gogh's drawings are special due to the fact that his depiction of figures, light, and landscape can be admired without the need for color. The artist drew using pencil, black chalk, red chalk, blue chalk, reed pen and charcoal, although he often mixed mediums when drawing. He drew on a variety of paper types and used any material available to him.
Drawing allowed van Gogh to capture light and images more quickly than with painting and it was often the case that he would sketch out his vision for a painting before starting the painting itself.
As well as drawing, van Gogh produced nearly 150 watercolor paintings during his lifetime. Although these did not feature his unique brush stroke textures, the watercolors are undeniably van Gogh because of their bold, vibrant...