Yesterday, I started exploring the ways that artists are moving beyond silverpoint itself to expand its scope. I ended by talking about the combination of silverpoint with touches of watercolour, a mixture which requires a balancing act not only technically but also in the careful use of colour because it can easily overwhelm the silverpoint.
Coloured pencils can also be a path to touches of colour. If the drawing surface ground is acrylic, however, it is best to avoid pencils with a high wax content because each layer can soon obliterate the layer beneath. By the end of drawing these marbles with Prismacolor, I felt indeed that I had Lost my Marbles!
Silver foil, applied judiciously, can add another dimension to a silverpoint drawing. The foil will eventually tarnish, depending on its quality. It needs to be protected with a seal if its original look needs to be retained.
(Remember, silverpoint drawings will also eventually evolve to a warm golden brown as the oxidize.) Metal dust also offers interesting effects, especially when included in the ground prepared for the silverpoint drawing.
Many other silverpoint artists are using a variety of media and supports in combination with silverpoint, from silverpoint on globes to cut-outs. Others combine different metals, in realism or abstraction, to achieve very contemporary effects. The Silverpointweb.com website lists a number of silverpoint artists who are doing very different, interesting work in the medium.
Silverpoint is showing itself to be more versatile than its traditional reputation would suggest. It is an interesting challenge to extend the vocabulary of this beautiful medium. In essence, just as in any art from, an artist can have fun mixing history and traditional techniques with today's idiom and interests. But a warning: Silverpoint's shimmer can be addictive!