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Silverpoint Drawing: Techniques and Materials with Jon Christopher Gernon


Silverpoint Drawing: Techniques and Materials with Jon Christopher Gernon

Silverpoint Drawing: Techniques and Materials with Jon Christopher Gernon

on Tuesday, April 16, from 11am to 2pm

$40 per student

Preregistration is required to attend all classes and workshops at Arlene’s. Space is limited so please register soon. Click the link to register online. Otherwise, please come into the store, at 57 Fuller Rd Albany NY, or call us, (518) 482-8881, to reserve your space.

Silverpoint is one of several types of metalpoint used by scribes, craftsmen and artists since ancient times. A silverpoint drawing is made by dragging a silver rod or wire across a surface, often prepared with traditional gesso or primer. The initial marks of silverpoint appear grey as other metalpoints, but silverpoint lines, when exposed to air, tarnish to a warm brown tone over time.

Metalpoint is superior in some very specific ways – it is fine enough to capture exquisite detail and does not smudge (unlike chalk) and is completely permanent, inert and fade-proof (unlike ink). It could be used on any prepared surface/support; thus, it made an excellent underdrawing for paintings and frescoes. Unlike charcoal or ink, it would not stain or otherwise impart any of itself to painting that followed, an important characteristic for egg tempera use, the dominant method employed during the medieval and early Renaissance periods. It was self-contained, portable, and easy to use. The “inert” quality is important – some excellent examples of drawing from this period are silverpoint, and survived through seven hundred years quite well due to their inertness.

Raphael used silverpoint in his studies, as did Dürer, Holbein, Rembrandt and Rubens. In fact, Durer had a “sketchbook” of prepared papers which he carried with him during his travels, and made sketches therein.

In this course you will learn about the materials including supports, grounds, different metals and techniques of silverpoint drawing. A supply list will be provided upon registration and supplies are not included in the cost of the workshop.

Please note that our classes are typically held in the lower level of Arlene's. Because access to the lower level is available only by stair, please let us know if using the stairs presents any difficulty for you in advance of the class so we can make alternate arrangements. We want to make sure everyone is able to enjoy and participate in our classes.

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