Letter 08/05/1882 - by Vincent van Gogh

Letter 08/05/1882 - by Vincent van Gogh
Courtesy of www.VincentVanGogh.org

I believe this is a practical palette, with sound colours. Ultramarine, carmine or something else are added if absolutely necessary.

I'll start with small things - but before the summer ends I hope to practise bigger sketches in charcoal with an eye to painting in a rather larger format later.

This is why I'm having a new and, I hope, better perspective frames made, which will stand firmly on two legs in uneven ground like the dunes.

Like this, for example.

What we saw together at Scheveningen, sand - sea - sky - is something I certainly hope to express one day.

Of course I didn't spend everything you gave me all at once - although I must say the prices of things greatly took me aback, especially bearing in mind that more items are needed than appears at first sight. It would be a help if you could send the usual around the twentieth, not because everything will be gone by then, but because I think it advisable to keep a little in my pocket in case, while working, I find that I really need something or other. That will help me to work calmly and in an orderly fashion.

The moist colour box fits into the painting box - so that if need be I can carry everything required both for watercolour and for painting in one object. I place great value on having good materials, and would like my studio to look substantial - but without antiquities or tapestries and drapery - but through the studies on the walls and good tools. That will have to come with work and time.

On the subject of the village constable style - I feel less like a village constable than like a Delft bargee, for example, and I don't at all object to my place being like a cosy tow barge.

Yesterday afternoon I was in the attic of Smulders' paper warehouse on Laan. There I found - guess what - double Ingres under the name Papier Torchon: it was a type with an even coarser grain than yours. I'm sending you a sample to show you. There's a whole batch - already old and mature, excellent. I bought only half a quire for now, but I can always go back later. I was there in search of something else, namely the Honig paper that I have now and then, very cheap, from an undelivered order for the land registry. That is very suitable for charcoal drawing, I believe, and comes in large sheets tinted rather like the Harding type.

As you see, this sample has a grain as coarse as a piece of sailcloth. What you brought is a nicer colour and wonderful, for example, for studies of the sides of ditches and soils. However, I'm glad to have discovered this new batch.

Well, old chap, many thanks for everything, a handshake in thought; I'm going to start work. Give Pa and Ma my warmest regards, thank them for what they gave you for me, and tell them I'll write soon - but as agreed not about special matters. Adieu - enjoy yourself, and have a safe return to your ordinary work, and believe me.