Lines and Colors art blog

Eye Candy for Today: Roelant Roghman drawing

View of castle Groenewoude, Roelant Roghman; chalk drawing
View of castle Groenewoude, Roelant Roghman

Chalk, with brush on paper; roughly 14×19″ (35x49cm); in the collection of the Rijksmuseum.

Roughman’s seemingly simple — but precise and deftly rendered — 17th century drawing is described on the Rijksmuseum’s site with chalk as the material and brush as the technique. I assume from the look of the toned areas that water was employed to smooth or smear the chalk into wash-like passages.

I love the way he has succinctly indicated the water with reflections; and the small touches that can almost go unnoticed — the figures on the bridge, the flock of birds in the middle distance and the ducks in the right foreground.

Roghman’s use of value contrast to set off the building to our left is particularly effective.


5 responses to “Eye Candy for Today: Roelant Roghman drawing”

  1. This is exquisite!

  2. I’ve never seen this combination of materials before. Your closeups help to figure it out. I’d venture to say that he started with a light outline of big shapes in the black chalk, and then floated light gray washes (diluted ink?) overall for the shadows in the building and the bigger masses of foliage. When that was dry, he put the brush away and came back with the chalk for the textures of foliage and structural detail. I don’t think the tone comes from smeared chalk; I’m assuming that it’s from ink — but I could be wrong.

    1. Thanks, James. It does look like ink or watercolor wash, but usually museums include that in their description, so I was led to wonder. I’ve never tried to suspend chalk dust in water, so I didn’t know if that was possible. I know that you can do it with genuine sanguine:

  3. I’m with James on this one … grey washes (ink? probably) & black chalk.

    1. Thanks, Steven. Certainly does look that way. Always a possibility that the museum just neglected to add the wet medium to the description on the page.