Ditch - by Vincent van Gogh

This drawing, Ditch was done in April 1884 while Van Goh was staying in his parents' home in Nuenen. During that period Van Gogh's principal aim was to master the techniques of painting, and for some time this was his almost exclusive concern; he usually painted on canvas with weavers, landscapes and still lifes as subjects.

This drawing was created using pencil and pen in ink, heightened with opaque white and green paint on wove paper. This landscape showing a canal, in which wispy tufts of reeds dominate the foreground. In the Nuenen landscape drawings there is a feature that can be found in many of Van Gogh's pen-and-ink drawings: the important use of pencil. He employed it not only for the preliminary drawing, but also for essential parts of the composition that were not later gone over in pen. It was extremely unusual for artists to combine the two materials in such a striking way.