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Last year, I started working with a new to me but very old  technique called metalpoint drawing. This form of drawing is made by using a metal wire in a holder of some kind on a prepared gessoed ground. My wire of choice was silver in a pen holder but gold and copper wire are also utilized.

The most wonderful thing happens as the drawing ages, the metal fragments left behind on the paper slowly become darker, just as a silver spoon will tarnish, turning it from a light silvery grey to a warmer brown. Copper will turn green as it oxidises. I’m finding that it’s very hard to erase silverpoint, erasers are not that effective and I’m learning that only sanding works completely which, if you’re not very careful, will damage the paper. So, for me this makes the drawing process more like a pen and ink than a pencil drawing, you have to be totally committed to the line you’re making but as pen and ink was one of my first loves, I feel like I am coming back to my roots.

Here is my first drawing in silverpoint on a gessoed ground, Queen Bee.

Queen Bee, silverpoint drawing©2013 by Jane E. Ward

Queen Bee, silverpoint drawing©2013 by Jane E. Ward