Testing silverpoint grounds

Silverpoint is a lovely medium to use, but it is difficult to achieve really dark darks. I have long suspected that the depth of tone that can be achieved has something to do with the ground used to prime the paper. Spurred on by a conversation with David Cranswick suggesting the use of rabbit skin glue mixed with ground eggshell as a ground, I thought I would experiment – so here we are, the results of….   Testing Silverpoint...

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Silverpoint drawing of a swan

Silverpoint drawing of a swan

We saw this beautiful Mute Swan with its mate on the canal near Grantham, on a bleak winters day. There was very little wind, so the bird’s reflection was perfect, with just enough distortion of the stems on the bank to add interest. It’s always interesting to note how much darker the reflection is than the colour of what is being reflected. You can read about the technique of silverpoint drawing in the drop-down menu under...

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