Drawings & Pastels

Drawing is a type of graphic art created with lines and areas of tone applied to paper usually with pencil, charcoal and coloured pencil, but a wash may also be applied.

They frequently serve as preparatory studies for other works, but are also considered works of art in their own right. A practitioner of drawing is known as a draughtsman.

Pastels are created using a stick made of pure pigment and a binder.

A key part of the general art market, both are also specialist collecting areas in their own right.


Madonna and Child drawing

Bidders battle to take tondo to 208-times top estimate

21 November 2022

A small round drawing of the Madonna and Child created a stir at Ryedale Auctioneers in North Yorkshire.

Design for a cenotaph

Dealer makes a Canova cenotaph design find

31 October 2022

A dealer has identified a design for a cenotaph to Antonio Canova (1757-1822) in time for the 200th anniversary of the Italian sculptor’s death.

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Three to look out for from Fine Art Society

17 October 2022

Studio potter Waistel Cooper (1921-2003) is back in the spotlight at The Fine Art Society and leads a busy autumn programme at the gallery.

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First of two single-owner selections coming up at Artcurial

10 October 2022

Titled 'De Watteau à Vuillard Une Collection Parisienne', paintings, works on paper, furniture and objects from a Parisian collection were the object of the first of two single-owner classic contents sales marking the start of the new auction season for the Old Master, furniture and objects departments at Artcurial (26/20/14.5% buyer’s premium).

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Young’s show catches the eye

26 September 2022

This silhouette of a trophy brown trout and fishing fly in pen, ink and watercolour on paper is offered as part of Robert Young Antiques’ exhibition Tiddlers and Whoppers.

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Pitch perfect for Ruskin’s tower

19 September 2022

Watercolour of Oxford by the Victorian arbiter of taste benefits from attractive estimate.

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Drawing exhibition puts little-known Yorkshire artist in the spotlight

12 September 2022

St James’s dealer conducts exhibition of topographical works by unknown Ripon artist

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Menzel pops up in Hamburg thanks to joint drawing exhibition

05 September 2022

Stephen Ongpin Fine Art is staging a pop-up exhibition from September 13-October 7 of drawings by Adolph Menzel in Hamburg after an earlier staging was cut short by Covid restrictions.

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How to illustrate the tale of a tail

05 September 2022

Bid to £65,000 in a Sotheby’s (25/20/13.9% buyer’s premium) sale that ran online from July 12-19 was the ink drawing by Ernest Shephard shown below.

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Fake or Fortune team investigate whether Sitwell sketch is a Modigliani

24 August 2022

In the second episode of the new Fake or Fortune? series, Fiona Bruce and Philip Mould investigate whether an artwork inherited from writer, critic and art collector Sacheverell Sitwell is a real Amedeo Modigliani sketch.

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Pick of the week: Sketchbook strikes saleroom gold

22 August 2022

A previously unknown sketchbook of watercolours and drawings relating to the California Gold Rush took £16,000 (plus 25% buyer’s premium) at Chiswick Auctions.

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Henry Moore’s view of Justice offered in New Jersey

22 August 2022

The sale at Nye & Company in Bloomfield, New Jersey, on September 7-8 includes Modern and Contemporary art and sculpture from the David and Laura Finn family collection.

Fernand Khnopff drawing

Khnopff’s Medusa sketch tops sale of works from Isabel Goldsmith collection at Christie’s

27 July 2022

A small work on paper by the symbolist Fernand Khnopff (1858-1921) led a selection of works from the Isabel Goldsmith collection offered at Christie’s.

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Hockney stars at Thirsk Hall this summer

18 July 2022

Accessible art is the aim of North Yorkshire dealer who hopes to enthuse a younger crowd

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Sandby takes third place but four figures at auction

11 July 2022

Thomas Sandby’s (1721-98) architectural drawings are significant part of the artist’s oeuvre.

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Watercolours and works on paper: A market for sensitive collectors

11 July 2022

The market for drawings and watercolours, both modern and traditional, has long been regarded as delicate ground – sensitive towards estimates, market freshness and condition.

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Keith Vaughan works on the crest of a wave

11 July 2022

Among the 20th century works on paper generating demand at regional sales in the last few months was a Keith Vaughan (1912-77) study of a group of bathers.

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Peploes available at a more affordable level

11 July 2022

Compared to oil paintings and watercolours, drawings by the Scottish Colourists seem to appear less often at auction.

Tête de femme  by Pablo Picasso

Picasso drawing discovered in a cupboard

20 June 2022

A Picasso drawing found in a cupboard has been sold at a French auction house for €158,000 (£135,000) or €192,759 including buyer’s premium.

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Gravesend: three miles beyond Jamaica

20 June 2022

Bid to £4000 – 10 times low estimate – in a May 18 sale held by Tennants (22% buyer’s premium) of Leyburn were two albums of what were defined as grotesque-style caricature portraits.

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