Saturday, September 26, 2009

Winter Day

Silverpoint on a warm light gray toned paper
18 x 14

I may have mislead you. Unlike a politician this was not my intent. I have always said that silverpoint was good for smaller pieces, but couldn't really hold up for something bigger. It just can't produce the dark darks needed to be noticed from across the room. I may have to rethink that. After looking at some of Dennis Martin's work I noticed that many of them are pretty big, much bigger than I had expected. So I took a shot and tried something bigger myself. Now this is not a huge drawing by any means, but it's about twice what I'm used to. It seems to hold up pretty well both near and from across the room, at least the size of my rooms. So bigger may be better.

On the downside it takes forever. The earlier parts had already started to tarnish by the time the last lines were added. I started this back in May or maybe early June and just finished it up a couple weeks ago. I didn't work nonstop on this though. There were quite a few weeks that it didn't get touched at all actually so it's hard to guess exactly how long it really took to finish. It certainly felt like a long time. Then again, it was nice to have something to go back and chew on.

Enough about that. What I was trying to do here was show how nice it is to curl up with a book when the snow in laying on the fields, the warmth of the figure against the cold of the landscape. Besides I loved the light. I hope I got somewhere close to the feel of it.


Billie Crain said...

Fabulous! Especially at this size! You are a master at creating soft draping and gentle creases. Any reason why you tone your paper first? I've been fascinated by silverpoint but have never attempted it before.

Dave B said...

Thanks. Always good to get a little feedback.

The toned paper is really just personal preference. The main advantage is you start with a mid-tone to work out from, push back, pull forward right from there. This one is just barely toned, almost like a natural white from Stonehenge if you're familiar with that line of paper. My grounds seem to be getting lighter and lighter, just enough tone to knock down the bright white a step or so.

Silverpoint has a quality that nothing else has. In pictures they tend to look like a hard lead pencil drawings, but in real life there's just a certain something that makes them special.

Billie Crain said...

Dave, I want to pass on to you the Kreativ Blogger Award. Your skills with silverpoint deserve the recognition. Please come to my blog to 'pick up' your award. Copy/save the image and post on your own blog if you wish.


Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen said...

Beautiful!! I came here via Billie and glad I did

"JeanneG" said...

Very nice.

Jeanette said...

Your work is breathtaking and your drawing skills superb. What ground do you use in silverpoint? I've heard that gesso doesn't tarnish as rabbit skin or bone sizing does. As I've only used gesso I don't have a comparison to make.

I've dabbled in silverpoint a little, my biggest piece being about 9 x 12. I love the medium and need to do more.

Your work inspires me to do so.
I'll be adding you to my blog list so I can keep coming back :)

Dave B said...

Thanks to everyone and thanks for dropping by.

Jeanette, as far as I know silver will tarnish regardless of what it's on. It takes its own sweet time though so don't try to push the river. I've heard of people doing this or that to speed the process, but it never really worked. The whole process to the point where it's totally stabilized and won't change anymore takes about 90 years. I guess I'll never see the complete, finished product.

For a ground I'm using a mix of regular gouache and acryla gouache. If gives you the smooth, silky feel of a gouache ground without the plastic feel of the acryla gouache. The acrylic component adds a toughness that regular gouache alone doesn't have. Best of both worlds plus you can mix any color or value you want to work on.

Stidwood said...

your use of gradient gives this pictures a sense of vividness