Date: 25-May-2020


With over 20,000 items available, it’s not surprising that some of the most innovative and interesting artist materials often get overlooked!

Hidden Gems gives you regular updates on the not-so-noticed treasures from our laden shelves.



Cretacolor Silverpoint

Before the discovery of graphite in the 16th Century, most very fine drawing was made using a stick of silver, called a Silverpoint. It leaves a line of silver particles on the drawing surface, which doesn’t smudge and creates a very even line, ideal for cross-hatching techniques. Due to graphite migrating through layers of oilpaint, its use for preliminary drawings was continued even after graphite became available.



One of the beautifully unique qualities of our Cretacolor Silverpoint is that silver tarnishes, and the tone of a silverpoint drawing gradually changes from a silver-grey to a warm brassy tone. We can see this effect most strongly on the drawings of Leonardo da Vinci, who often used a silverpoint.

Silverpoint keeps an even line width, producing a pale grey image that deepens & warms as it ages.

You can get good results on some, mostly hard papers such as Stella, on gessoed surfaces, and for strongest results use Golden Silverpoint Ground, which not only makes any grease-free surface perfect for the application of silverpoint, but makes it receptive to all metals – gold, stainless steel and copper.



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