Silverpoint and Goldpoint were used as a method of drawing in the 14th Century before graphite was discovered. It was used by metal-smiths and artist such as Durer, Da Vinci and Raphael - these drawings can be viewed by appointment at the British Museum, London. It's amazing to see works of genius upon close inspection.
This method of working is used by a small number of artists today as this medium is unforgiving and is very arduous to build up a tonal value ( I like that ). Gold leaves a faint tone which is ideal for working out a composition, while silver can achieve a darker tone. It can take up to 10 hours to build up a deep dark tone as silver requires small oscillations or cross-hatching to gradually build from light to dark.
Metal will only leave a mark on primed surfaces, ideally Gesso based. A coin will do the same on a painted wall.
Saint Paul's Cathedral study, Silverpoint and Goldpoint on Gesso prepared clay.
Silverpoint sketch on Ogami professional paper. A perfect paper for Silverpoint which requires no priming - the paper is made from Calcium Carbonate and is luxurious to work on.
Another sketch on the Ogami professional paper.
Delusions of grandeur: Bellini's 'Portrait of Doge Leonardo Loredan' 1501 at the National Gallery is one of my favourite paintings. I tried to recreate this painting using Silverpoint - it has taken over 60 hours to date.