I just finished this silverpoint drawing. It is from the central panel of the Ludovisi Throne. It’s said to depict Hera’s rebirth as she ascends from the sacred spring she bathes in each year to renew her virginity. The main figure is also believed to be Aphrodite (Venus) rising from the sea. Others believe, however that the figure portrays Persephone on her annual return from the underworld. I think I ascribe to the Hera interpretation, the idea of an annual renewal really appeals to me, I’d like to take a dip and become a Maiden again!
I drew this bust of the Bodhisattva Kwan Yin when I first started with silverpoint, it was a long study and as I progressed through the drawing, I was learning moment by moment. I can see a few passages where I was particularly stumped because I tried to use silverpoint in ways that silverpoint doesn’t like to be used, ie as a pencil, but all in all I’m very happy with it.
It’s drawn on a prepared Ampersand Gesso Board, they come cradled or un-cradled, this was the latter. The ground that you use is important for the silverpoint to lay down although it will show up on just the gessoed surface. Here, I also used a Silverpoint/Drawing ground made by Golden Paints. I highly recommend using it, it is easy to apply and it prepares any surface ready to accept silverpoint.