Etching and Silverpoint

I know this looks like pencil on canvas, but it’s not..

Yesterday I had a great time scratching away, as I worked on my first silverpoint drawing. It is such a great tool for drawing, and the result is so sophisticated even if it’s a really simple design. I can definitely see why it was popular with the old masters.

(See here for more info)

Using silverpoint is basically like using a pencil, only you prepare the surface with a special fluid (traditionally zinc white) which picks up silver/other metals, so when you draw on it, it leaves a sheeny metallic deposit where you place the mark. You can use silver jewelry, coins, and lots of other metallic objects to achieve a range of textures and patterns. The coolest thing is because all metals oxidize over time, the drawing also gradually morphs into a beautifully spontaneous gradation of coppery-silver.

It seemed a tad expensive (I paid around $50 for the silverpoint stylus and Golden Silverpoint/Drawing ground) but the dude who helped me was right, they will last a decent while – I made my whole drawing yesterday and the stylus seems totally unscathed.

Anyway, the above is a peek at what I did! This piece is one of my favourites so far and will be in the exhibition – but will undoubtedly look a little different, once the silver evolves into its tarnished tones!


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