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.


Canaletto creates a Venetian crowning glory

17 July 2017

A record-breaking Canaletto (1697-1768) drawing was the toast of the capital’s Old Masters drawings sales.

Schmadribach Waterfall

Government issues export bar for 18th century waterfall drawing in hope of finding UK buyer

03 July 2017

The department of culture, media and sport has issued an export bar on an 18th century drawing of Schmadribach Waterfall by Austrian Romantic artist Joseph Anton Koch (1768-1839) and launched a search for a UK buyer to match the asking price of £68,750.


Girl power fuels demand for drawing and etching in Kent

03 July 2017

Exactly a week before Harry Rutherford’s ‘Camden Town’ painting sold in London (see separate Art Market story this edition), a small undated sketch, Female Nude, by his prolific mentor and tutor Walter Sickert (1860-1942) cropped up in Kent.


Ruff black and white work adds colour to St James’s

26 June 2017

Karen Taylor Fine Art’s exhibition of British drawings, watercolours and oils takes place from 30 June-July 7 at Illustrationcupboard Gallery in St James’s.


Pick of the Week: Sir Peter Lely’s young girl in high demand

19 June 2017

An enticingly estimated drawing by the 17th century English court portraitist Sir Peter Lely offered for sale in a French provincial auction drew a flurry of attention from English trade and private bidders last week. It was propelled to over 20-times its estimate.


Paris exhibition focuses on André Maire’s take on ‘cultural’ Vietnam

19 June 2017

A selection of drawings by the French painter-explorer André Maire (1898-1984) comes to the Dumonteil Gallery in Paris for the exhibition Indochina, Meeting Men and Gods.


Sir Peter Lely drawing surfaces in Nantes

05 June 2017

This drawing of a young girl by the Dutch-born artist Sir Peter Lely (1618-80), who was official portrait painter to the English court, features in a sale at Ivoire Nantes on June 13.


Bavarian’s views of Dickensian London from Ephemera Society dealer

22 May 2017

A sketchbook by the Bavarian artist Georg Johann Scharf (1788-1860) was discovered recently by ephemera dealer Valerie Jackson-Harris at the Sunbury Antiques Market at Kempton Park.


Bonhams hosts exhibition of Erté’s designs from Glyndebourne Opera

13 May 2017

Set and costume designs by artist Erté for the 1980 Glyndebourne Opera production of 'Der Rosenkavalier' are to go on display at auction house Bonhams this month.


Scarfe savages all before him with 130 works at auction

08 May 2017

More than 130 original artworks by the artist, sometimes savage political cartoonist and stage designer, Gerald Scarfe, were offered by Sotheby’s (25/20/12.5% buyer’s premium) on April 5.


Previews: £30,000 plus

08 May 2017

ATG’s weekly selection of items on sale at auctions and dealerships.


Francis Picabia female figure sketch on offer in Madrid

08 May 2017

Francis Picabia (1879-1953) famously declared that he wanted to change his ideas “as often as one would change one’s shirt”, and he embraced many different artistic styles throughout his life.


The burgeoning market for original 19th and 20th century illustrations

02 May 2017

From Arthur Rackham to Gerald Scarfe, there is a burgeoning market for original illustration art of the 19th and 20th centuries.


William Heath Robinson and the art of illustration

02 May 2017

The name of William Heath Robinson (1872-1944) is enshrined in the Oxford English Dictionary. Definition: “Ingeniously or ridiculously over-complicated in design or construction”.


Having a laugh down at the private London club artwork sale

24 April 2017

Nearly a quarter of the sale total at the auction held by Harry Moore-Gwyn at 25 Blythe Road (20% buyer’s premium) in West Kensington on April 5 came from a collection of original cartoons.

Visage by Henri Matisse

Seven key lots sold during Drawings Week in Paris

19 April 2017

The recent Drawings Week event in Paris featured a slew of dedicated auctions across the French capital. They ranged from single-owner dedicated auctions of drawings by Edgar Degas and Antoine-Jean Gros to a huge variety of other works on paper spanning the Italian Renaissance to the 20th century.


Paris sales double up Degas and Gros

18 April 2017

Among the raft of dedicated works on paper auctions staged for the recent Drawings Week in Paris were two market-fresh sales devoted to family collections of works by a single French artist.


Degas in Christie's and Sotheby's Paris auctions

18 April 2017

While Degas’ youthful drawings produced some notable individual prices in Drawings Week, it is the classic charcoal and pastel drawings of Parisian dancers and workers from his mature years that are the most commercially popular (the current work on paper record is the premium-inclusive $37m/ £23.35m/€29m paid for Danseuse au repos of 1879 at Sotheby’s New York in 2008).


A view from the Degas family on his works at auction

18 April 2017

Marielle Barde, Edgar Degas’ great-niece, was one of the heirs and vendors of the Degas studio drawings and attended Christie’s Paris sale. This was the second such dispersal the family had held in these rooms of artworks from her famous great-uncle following a house move some decades ago.

Famous Old Bag

“Old bag” Margaret Thatcher drawing among leading lots at Sotheby’s Gerald Scarfe auction

07 April 2017

A political cartoon showing the face of Margaret Thatcher emerging from the side of her handbag was one of the top lots at the Sotheby’s London auction of Gerald Scarfe’s drawings this week.