Recently I became re- interested in metalpoint drawing. Metalpoint is a drawing technique that was very popular in the Renaissance. Durer and daVinci are two notables who excelled in silverpoint drawing. While other types of metal are also used to draw with (each having its own advantages), silver remains the most commonly used metal. Drawing in silver is a slow and meditative technique; there is no room for error. Once a mark is made, it stays. Overall, drawing is a bit easier to pick up and set down than watercolor painting.
Ground, the surface that you apply to paper or board is essential in getting a good range of value with silverpoint drawing. I have been experimenting with various grounds ranging from a traditional rabbit skin glue based gesso to a new acrylic. There are also prepared papers such as claycoat and paper made of stone. Usually I draw with a piece of pure silver wire that is set into a lead holder. Over time the silver will develop a patina, and become almost translucent which increases its quiet beauty.
This drawing is of a Merlin falcon, drawn in silver on Golden Gesso ground applied to Fabriano HP watercolor paper. It illustrates the concept” Post tenebras spero lucem”, I hope for light after darkness.