Samantha de Waal Malefyt
This drawing is a black chalk drawing by the Dutch artist, Jacob Van Ruisdael, and is titled Dune Landscape with Oak Tree. In the foreground of the drawing is a river and shrubbery. The middle ground contains a giant tree on a small hill. In the background can be seen more trees, mountains, and even a house. Also in the background, there appears to be stormy skies.
In this drawing, Van Ruisdael creates balance by keeping the right side open and light in order to balance out the darker, more detailed left side. Van Ruisdael uses short, dark lines in the shrubs and the center tree in order to create detail and emphasis in the foreground. It also gives the plants a sharp, leafy texture that makes it seem like they would be rough to the touch, while the river along the right side has a smooth texture making it appear to flow along the paper. Van Ruisdael blends the chalk of the mountain and the sky to make the mountains seem further in the distance and in order to give the appearance of a cloudy day.
This drawing shows a very homey, quaint scene. The house nestled in the background and the plant life by the river makes it seem like a nice, quiet place to live or visit. But the cloudy sky and the fact that the drawing is done in black and white gives the artwork a creepy disturbing feel to it. Even though the tree has some leaves on it, it skeletal branches and structure can still be seen. Van Ruisdael took a warm country scene and gave it a dark edge with his choice of medium and with little details added to the composition.
This drawing immediately caught my eye because of the extreme detail it possesses. I like the drawing because it can appear dark and mysterious to some, and it can also seem like a great scene of nature and the countryside. The work is successful because Van Ruisdael was trying to create an independent, striking, black-and-white drawing. It is defiantly a piece that can stand on its and capture your attention.