A Silverpoint drawing of mine will be in a group exhibition at the Morris Graves Museum of Art in Eureka, California called, “Lustrous Lines: Contemporary Metalpoint Drawing”. The exhibition runs from November 21 through January 6. It is a great opportunity to see a collection of drawings in a medium not often seen anymore. Metalpoint drawing was widely used through the early renaissance. It is done on paper prepared with a surface that will abrade the metal stylus such as gesso. This was useful as paper was very expensive and preparatory sketches and old work could easily be covered for reuse. Once paper became less expensive, silverpoint was replaced by graphite.
Metalpoint drawings are still prized for their fine delicate lines. In practice they are somewhat unforgiving because it is very difficult to erase mistakes. I started using them for drawing for that very reason, figuring that it would improve my work if I could not rely on an eraser to fix errant lines.