Van Gogh made this drawing, Small House on a Road with Pollard Willows in October, 1881 at Etten, Netherlands, when he was living in his
parents' house. Van Gogh embarked his painting career
pretty late at age of 27. Unlike Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Pablo Picasso, who were already gifted
draughtsmen in their young age, Van Gogh had to master his drawing techniques in the hard way: through practice and errors.
This drawing is one of the early work of Van Gogh during that serious artistic exploration. Painted using charcoal on black chalk on laid paper the artist depicted the house of the railway workers. He concentrated on the pollard willows, which stand side by side with various shapes and postures. The thin branches are outlined against the sky like blood vessels.