Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Getting Closer to Silverpoint

We have the materials (Jim & I). Now we have to prepare some paper & make some drawings. To clarify: silverpoint (or other kinds of metalpoint drawing) is achieved by using a thin piece of metal wire (silver, copper, gold, etc) held in a stylus to make marks on a prepared surface (paper coated with gesso or gouache, usually), so the line is formed on the page when a trace of the metal is left on the surface. After time (or exposure to the sun), the traces of metal oxidize & subtly change color -- silver becoming brown, for example.

Here's a metalpoint drawing by Leonardo, to demonstrate the fine lines & subtle shading possibilities:

Angel for the Madonna of the Rocks, metalpoint heightened with white. Leonardo da Vinci, circa 1483-85.