Odilon Redon

Odilon Redon mind map

Became really fascinated by Odilon Redon and his “Noir” drawings. The “Two Trees” represents one aspect of his use of charcoal for naturalistic forms.   The atmospheric depth achieved by his really black -black and all the nuances of tone are really affecting.  This and many other of his drawings offer a very sinister and foreboding view.   You are draw into the scene with a frisson of anxiety about what lies beyond the trees in the distance.

It appears that Redon developed a very individual technique with his charcoal drawing.   Over a couple of decades he experimented with this form as the technicalities of the medium developed over the 2nd half of the 19th century. A conservationists analysis of his work has revealed layer upon layer of working on any single drawing.


A Technical Investigation of Odilon Redon’s Pastels and Noirs

I have become very interested in his technique as well as the development of his images into the more symbolic and visionary content. In terms of appreciating what can be achieved with charcoal  this has given a great deal to think about. (Particularly as for Assignment 1 we are being asked to go back to our original mark making exercises and their emotional aspect).

“My drawings inspire and do not define themselves. They determine nothing. They place us, just as music does, in the ambiguous world of the indeterminate.” 


“Black is the most essential color”: Odilon Redon’s Noirs

Redon was interested in evoking imagery from dreams and the fantastical. He was developing this work over the decades of Darwin and Freud’s breakthroughs.

I now realise that an image which I have in the past found very powerful as well as disturbing is from this series of his work.

Cactus Man Odilon REdon


Cactus Man 1881 

Lots of food for thought when approaching Assignment 1.

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