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Drawing in Silver and Gold Point

Drawing in Silver and Gold Point

Artwork from Carl S., Drawing Academy student

I have been fooling around with drawing and painting since 8 years old (55 now), but only seriously in the past four or five years. I love the Drawing Academy course and look forward to the updates and emails every day.

The learning experience has been great. Before the course, I never even heard of Metal point or Silver point. When I reviewed the lesson I was fascinated by the medium.

Then I had an opportunity to see the Drawing in Silver and Gold exhibit at the National Gallery of Art recently. Blew me away. If you want to learn to draw, try using a silver or metal wire to do it. It is a whole lot of difficult.

Let’s talk about the ground. I figured out my own, which is cheap and inexpensive (white primer, mixed with non-sanded grout or marble dust, tinted with watercolor paint.) Any silver, copper or metal wire, coins, old silver spoons, etc.

Now the fun begins. You can’t erase, you must slowly lay out your drawing and hatch, hatch, hatch and shade, shade, shade because it is not like any other medium. In my view there is nothing more difficult than rendering a work with metal wire or metal object. It is difficult, time consuming, painstaking, unforgiving and complex. No wonder why the masters became masters.

I want to achieve good quality skills and be able to draw anything I see in any drawing medium.

I would like my daughter to enroll in the Drawing Academy. She is 14, quite good, but needs to learn the Drawing Academy way. Too much Manga, Photorealism and other gimmicks that she is learning online. She needs the Drawing Academy Court if she is going to get better.

Here’s my Silver Point drawing of a Pietro Annigoni portrait.

Drawing in Silver and Gold Point

It is an excellent rendering of a classic woman’s face, in a difficult pose, with an incredibly difficult but beautiful medium. I love his portraits and he was a very interesting man. I believe that he would have completely supported the Drawing Academy course and what it teaches.

Natalie-Richy-avatarKind regards,
Natalie Richy and Vladimir London
Drawing Academy tutors

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Categorized: Student Gallery

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Carl Soranno says:

    I would welcome any comments, negative or positive. It will only help. So feel free to be honest as you can. Thanks. Carl.

  2. NotionView says:


    I agree with you on all counts! I LOVE silverpoint and what it does for my skills. There is nothing quite like it and it is a difficult and unforgiving medium! I started the Art Academy first as I was pursuing oil painting then discovered the Drawing Academy! The drawing academy is a MUST for anyone interested in bettering their skills. It’s amazing, isn’t it?

    So, kudos to you for your hard work and taking the bull by the horns. I am, like you, up for the challenge and have seen my work vastly improve as a result of the Drawing Academy course! FYI, I attended and graduated with honors from College in Commercial Art and realized when I started the Drawing Academy program that I had never even been taught the proper way to hold a pencil!

    I spent hours in an Illustration class for months and months but learned more from the Drawing Academy in the first lesson than I learned in a two-year curriculum in college! The cost of my education was $14,000 – the money for the Drawing Academy is a fraction of that and worth 10 times more than my college education! I hope your daughter will enroll. It’s a lifetime of benefit and a priceless gift to her future!

    aka NotionView

  3. Leslie X. says:

    Carl – Bravo!
    Nice that you are stepping out. I like how you have given a focus to the facial features in the protrait by making the hair less detailed.

    What metal did you finally select to do your drawing?? Did you do this in one sitting or did you wait on oxidation? I am also exploring this medium. I’ve found that I prefer to allow the drawing some time for the metal to oxidize, allowing a subtle change in color, then go back over this in subsequent layers – much like oil painting and transparent layers.

    How many coats did you use with your ground and what sort of paper did you use? It looks like you are using water color paper as your base – did you find that you needed to sand in between applications of the ground? At present I am experimenting with an Arches CP water color paper but I have found that I must sand between coats to achive a smooth drawing ground.

    So this being said, I must ask if you liked working with a rough finish. If you do another silver point, would you do something different? Your work is good, but I feel that you could draw even more attention to the face by lightening up on the clothing (in particular the lower fabric)and allowing it to bleed off the drawing. The eyes are good but the line work of the lid is confusing on the left side of the face. The medium is definitly unforgiving and I generally make a preparatory cartoon (sketch) before I do my final work to not only deal with drawing issues but also composition and artistic content. In this way I can play with things to create the effect I am looking for.

    I look forward to seeing more of your work here.

    Wishing you the greatest success – Leslie

  4. Carl Soranno says:

    Thanks to everyone that has commented. Leslie I used Fabriano watercolor papers 140 lbs. I don’t like the rough surface and will probably stop using it and go to a smooth surface on wood like the Masters did. The Drawing in Silver and Gold book from the NGA exhibit is excellent for tips and guides. The Zinnser primer is working well with some unsanded grout in it. Not sure it is archival but it is formulated not to yellow or chalk. Who knows. The ingredients are the same as other commercial grounds and much cheaper. I used several coats so I can scratch off mistakes without cutting into paper. Another Masters tip. I agree with your critique. The clothes faded off, but then I went too dark with a silver spoon. I also had trouble with the eyes. I used no prepatory drawing. On subsequent drawings I have. The Masters did so its not cheating. I posted a few more, another Annigoni called Modella in Posa. I didn’t like the commercial stylus and use silver wire, silver spoons and a silver earring. The old silver is better because I think the commercial stylus is an alloy. Anyway, the course is great and anyone that wants to draw needs to take it. I am going to be ordering the anatomy course shortly. I was on vacation recently and went to some high end galleries. Some of the work is good but most is pathetic. Fish that look like dogs, dogs that look like fish, terrible perspective, etc. Some of it costs thousands of dollars. Don’t even get me started on the abstract works. OMG. Thanks again. I want the critical analysis. It is the only way I will get better. Stay well.

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