Medium: Silverpoint & watercolor on wood panel
Size: 5×7 inches

This is only my third piece using silverpoint, so I’m still experimenting a bit with surfaces. This time I decided to try using a wooden board. 5×7 inch maple art board. In the photo, you can see the array of tools that I ended up using in the course of creating this piece. Silverpoint drawing ground (which feels a bit like a diluted gesso), a couple of white gel pens, a fine tipped silverpoint pen (like a .7 mechanical pencil), and a wider tipped silverpoint pen (more like a lead holder).

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I started by painting a layer of the ground onto the wooden board, and letting that dry overnight.

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When dried, it was slightly translucent, so I could still see the wood grain and texture through it, which was a nice base to build from. I started drawing with the silverpoint. I kind of used the wood grain as a inspiration to pull the shapes out.

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After I got the drawing to a point I was more or less satisfied with, I painted in some more layers of ground into the background sky areas, for some heightened whiter contrast with the soft wood-midtones. I also used the gel pens to add smaller hightlights along the tree bark and other areas of the foreground.

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And for a bit of punctuation, I used some watercolor ground for thicker, heavier texture in the foreground, and a little bit of alizarin crimson watercolor on the woman’s umbrella and gown. Just a hint.

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  1. Robin

    You never cease to amaze me. I love this. Is silver point hard to do? I see it is a faint rendering but that makes it even more magical when you add the color. Just gorgeous.

  2. Jo Jessop

    Thank you for posting/sharing your silverpoint drawing method.
    Three things caught my attention:
    1. Your picture
    2. You added colour to a silverpoint drawing
    3. You also show how you added colour.
    There’s very little on the internet showing how to add colour to a silverpoint drawing – I wish to say thank you for your very kind deed. Your drawing is a lovely, delicate, beautifully portrayed composition.
    I wish you success.

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