Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Artichoke Silverpoint Drawing

I just finished this artichoke drawing today using the obscure art medium of silverpoint. Silverpoint is the art medium that the art masters, such as DaVinciRembrandt and Durer, used to draw with.  Before pencils were invented, this was the material that was used for drawing and sketching. I discovered this medium while taking a Botanical Illustration class at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx.  The instructor, Laura Vogel, brought in an amazing drawing of a Locust bug that she created in silverpoint and I was mesmerized. Immediately I went and bought the supplies and got to work. The way it works is that a piece of sterling silver wire is placed into a mechanical pencil holder and drawn on a special clay coated paper.  The silver will not work on any other paper.  Traditionally, the surface for drawing was rabbit skin glue, but I have issues with that, so it’s clay coated paper for me.  Silverpoint can not be erased, any mark that goes down, stays down so careful planning is required before beginning.  Another interesting element about it is that the silver in the drawing will slowly tarnish over time creating a warm patina, which I love.

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