Saturday, July 7, 2018

Sketchy Art

I'm admittedly out of my element when appraising art, but I've seen enough Antique Roadshows to know that if you find original art for under $10, you're typically not going to lose money. This piece caught my eye at a garage sale this morning and was marked $3.  (Warning, I struggled getting decent photos with the flash on or off).

It's a charcoal sketch, obviously of an Asian theme if not style. A farmer picks rice while a little boy looks on, annoyed, perhaps because he'd rather be doing something else.

When I brought the painting to the person running the sale, they said, "Nice frame, isn't it."  I didn't tell her I was more interested in the drawing.

The drawing inside the frame measures 16"x20", so it's fairly large. Some closeups of the drawing.

I could be wrong, but it doesn't strike me as an amateur piece. The lines look too confident, if you know what I mean.

This could be an Asian tourist piece.  I couldn't find a signature. It's possible the frame is hiding it, but I'm afraid to take it apart for fear of damaging the art. The paper appears to be very frail.

I love the rolling hills and river.


The frame appears to have been re-purposed and repainted.

I'd be curious to hear an information someone might be able to provide.  FrankO, I'm looking at you.


  1. Definitely looks better than an amateur.

  2. oh hello!

    hmm, this is definitely interesting. the frame has DEFINITELY been repainted, probably to tie in with the whole "asian" theme. i think it's supposed to be Vietnam or Cambodia, but i'm totally guessing. i agree that it looks to be the work of a practiced hand, but i'm not 100% convinced that it's not an amateur... someone who is more practiced or a professional would have signed it somewhere, don't you think? you might want to look under the edges of the frame, but i would think it would be readily visible (unless there's an inscription on the back?)

    i LOVE the tiny detail of the person herding the water buffalo, and the disgruntled look on the kid, too. someone put a lot of work into this, that's for sure. i also love how everything moves... it has a feel of some of van gogh's later work to me -- his hills and fields also had that undulating quality. hey, how big is this?

    1. Yeah, I'm surprised there's no signature, which lead me to think it might be a tourist piece. There could be a signature under the frame, but I'm afraid to take it apart. The paper looks like it would tear easily. I haven't taken the back off either. It has about a dozen nails holding the back in place. The picture itself measures 16"x20", so it's fairly large.

    2. i would risk taking the back off, at least, just so you can get a look at the back of it to see if someone wrote anything on the back. it looks like it's sketched on that standard cheap newsprint that all art students know all too well -- or at least that's what we used back in the day (cough). i don't think you'll risk damaging the piece unless someone put some adhesive between it and the backing, but i really doubt that's the case. anyway, it's a cool drawing. it would be so nice to know more about it.


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