This drawing Donkey and cart was done with Pencil, charcoal, black chalk and opaque white watercolor, on laid paper in October 1881.
As a self-taught artist, Van Gogh learned drawing techniques by practicing. This drawing is one of his earliest drawings he has done in Etten. The systematic way in which Van Gogh approached studying is characteristic of his ten-year career. Generally speaking, he is thought of as a spontaneous artist, who worked intuitively and who was averse to rigid rules and thorough preparation. The expressive power of his work and the fluent style of his drawn and painted oeuvre support this view, and in his letters too he often comes across as a sensitive, impulsive, and sometimes intractable, man. However, as an artist Van Gogh always worked in an organized way and never stopped studying seriously, without this in any way affecting his inventiveness and tendency to experiment.