Metal Point Drawings

Metal point is a very old drawing technique first used by medieval scribes long before the invention of drawing pens or pencils. A metallic wire or stylus is used to sketch on a drawing surface that has been prepared with a special coating or “ground.” A metal point drawing can take many weeks or months to complete.

Different metals give various effects. Sterling silver, brass, bronze, bismuth, copper or 24k gold can be used to create beautiful works of art. New metal point drawings are shiny and reflective, but will tarnish with time and develop a patina. Drawings made from gold do not tarnish.

Many famous Renaissance painters, including Leonardo da Vinci, Michaelangelo and Botticelli, used metal point drawing in preparation for painting frescos on the interior of European churches. Perhaps the most famous silverpoint drawing is Albrecht Durer’s “The Hare.”

Here are some metal point drawings completed in the last few years. Some are combined with a water color wash. 

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