Here are some beautiful Silverpoint drawings, in various stages of completion, from the second week of the Intro to Nature Drawing Workshop at Toronto Botanical Garden. The students are working with mechanical pencils that I’ve fitted with Sterling Silver wire in place of the regular graphite leads. Each home made silver pencil cost 95 cents to make; much less than the silver pencils sold in Toronto art shops which retail for $18.99 each!
These light grey drawings will gradually darken and turn a warm brown as the silver particles react with the atmosphere and tarnish. This medium was used during the Renaissance, but quickly fell out of favour after the invention of the graphite pencil.
The students had fun connecting with the past and their resulting Silverpoint drawings look terrific. Next week, I’ll be introducing the class to natural vine charcoal, another traditional drawing medium.
Quick Tip: To keep your drawings clean, place an old photo (glossy side down) over your page and rest your hand on top. The glossy coating resists dry media and helps prevents unintended smudging.