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Drawing and Painting


Art of Drawing

Drawing, the art of representing a figurative or abstract form on a surface. It is also a technique that has given rise to many ways of representing the pen stroke, drawing using different instruments: pencils, chalk, charcoal, pastels, pen, ink, brush.


Charcoal drawing

The charcoal is a drawing whose line is more or less blurred. It is made using a charcoal based on charcoal. This instrument is available in different models from the hardest to the most flexible, it can be brittle if the pressure exerted is too great. The intermediate version looks like the HB pencil that we all know.

It is a representation all in nuances, a work on the shadows, the eraser is even used to achieve the gradient of a few lines.

Lucien Hector Jonas (1880-1947) from a village in nothern France "Anzin", near Valenciennes, will do a considerable work of portraits of soldiers of different nationalities during the 14-18 war with the charcoal technique. The identification of these soldiers is possible, because the drawings were annotated with a name, or a unit. He became a military painter in 1915 and also produced paintings such as those for the single command room located at the town hall of Doullens. He was also appointed official painter of the navy in 1916.

His talents will be put to use for the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1937, he will also make a tapestry box in 1942 for the Gobelins factory. His works are known throughout the world, from America to Asia to the royal palace in Bangkok.


N-Guyen par M. Jonasjonas

Courtesy of  M. Jean-Paul Fontanon.  ©
These soldiers portraits of charcoal made during the war by Lucien Jonas have been grouped in several volumes under the french title of "Fusains de la grande guerre" by Mr. Jean-Paul Fontanon - Edition JPFo.



The dry point is an etching process requiring the use of a dry point resembling a pencil but it has a fine point, cutting, which must be sharpened regularly. These tools exists in different dimensions.

Shallow lines are drawn on a copper or zinc plate. The way to engrave these lines will determine the sharpness or blur of the final drawing. The stone burnisher will allow to repolish, to rectify an awkward gesture on this plate.

The ink is deposited on the plate with a roller to cover all the grooves previously engraved. It is therefore essential to draw the pattern upside down, because the printing plate will be placed on the ink-covered plate and then passed under the press.

The drawer Charles Samson (1893-1978), a native of Villers-Bretonneux, has produced numerous planks with a dry point. He will draw monuments, cathedrals including those of Amiens, Reims, Notre Dame de Paris, views of the Seine, Montmartre, mansions, bridges of the Loire, castles of the Loire Valley and several buildings of its region of origin such as the castle of Saint-Gratien.



A castle in the northern of France by M. Charles Samson - Photo credit Isabelle Godard



Aboriginal painting

Aboriginal culture is one of the oldest cultures in the world whose main purpose is to transcribe ancestral traditions.

Objects such as boomerang and didgeridoo with this particular sound are part of this heritage.

Aboriginal painting has evolved on several supports (walls of caves, sand, soils ...). The first paintings were cave art and then represented on tree bark and, more recently on various fabrics.

plate with an aboriginal pattern

The popularity of this primitive art developed in the 80s with some exhibitions and the creation of several museums in Europe and around the world. The musée du Quai Branly in Paris, designed by Jean Nouvel, was inaugurated in 2006 by Jacques Chirac passionated by the primitive arts.

Arnhem Land in the north of Australia is rich in rock paintings. The site of the Murujuga peninsula near Dampier has the largest complex of rock engravings.

Each Aboriginal community has a different way of representing and illustrating its own culture. Each symbol has a specific meaning, water for example is represented by many patterns such as rain water, running water, the points of convergence of water, or even the billabong, a point of water that never dries, an essential landmark during the dry season.

Aboriginal artists from the north of Australia came to Paris, to share their traditional stories and knowledge in the exhibition called Jarracharra, by featuring their textile art at the Australian embassy in Paris in January 2020.

Jarracharra: Dry season winds, a collection of textile works produced by Aboriginal women artists from the Babbarra Women's Center.


Jarracharra Jarracharra

"Dry season winds" - Australian Embassy in Paris - Photo credits Isabelle Godard


Oil painting

Oil painting is made of colors linked with one or more mineral or vegetable oils. The first Flemish painters also used varnishes beneficial for the conservation of works.

The famous painter Le Caravage (1571-1610) with an eventful destiny produced many works in oil painting with easiness for the representation of contrasts, chiaroscuro with the degradation of light.. He also made use of a different treatment to cover the shadows, the dark backgrounds.


Le Caravage painting

The knight Alof de Wignacourt, painted by Le Caravage between 1607 1608,
this painting is presented at the Louvre museum.



Icon painting

The icon painting is the art of representing a religious portrait. The iconography follows strict rules and perspective. All details are studied as well as the choice of colors.

The traditional background of icons consists of "levkas"; a blend made primarily of sturgeon glue and white chalk.
The icon is patterned and then painted from darker colors and ending with the lighter colors.

Icon painting with Marie portrait


Pastel painting

A pastel painting is carried out with clear and soft tones, it consists of mineral, organic or vegetable pigments associated with a binder and chalk or plaster.

Pastel painting is known to faithfully transcribe light. Many portraits have been made with this technique close to drawing and painting. The pencil lines are then blured or several layers of paint are superimposed.

Mr. Maurice Quentin native of Saint-Quentin in Nothern France was renowned for his expertise in pastel. He had succeeded in developing a method of fixing the pastel.