Silverpoint Head with Highlighting

6" x 8", Silverpoint on prepared, grounded
hotpress watercolor paper,
This is a silverpoint drawing, it was drawn
on a piece of paper that I prepared with a
ground made of a small amount of Liquitex
gesso mixed with a small amount of white
Gouache paint and then colored with cyan
and green watercolor paint. The ground is
applied with a wide, soft watercolor brush
and allowed to dry. It can be sanded if
it is too rough. You can also use straight
gesso, casein, or gouache as grounds. The
problem with gouache is that it remains
reactive to water.
It is easy to do a silverpoint drawing. All
you need is an architect's technical lead holder,
a piece of 18 guage silver wire, some masking
tape, and some very fine sand paper. You cut
a piece of silver wire about one inch long, and
wrap some tape around it so it won't wiggle
around in the lead holder. Then you place it
in the lead holder and retract the metal
"petals" that hold the lead in, and make sure
the silver doesn't wiggle.
Then, you sand the point until it is round.
This is very important, so that you won't just
rip lines in the ground. The abrasive ground
causes a little bit of silver to come off of the
wire each time you make a stroke, and
voila, you have a silverpoint drawing.
The highlighting was done with a very fine
#00 round liner-type watercolor brush and
some white gouache (often referred to as
"body color" in descriptions of old drawings).
This is really fun. You ought to try it. The silver
will oxidize over time, turning browner. If you
paint some egg yolk over it lightly, this will
accelerate the oxidation.
Thanks for visiting today.

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