Category Archives: metal point

Friday Night Class

Grasaille Demo, Robert Liberace

Grasaille Demo, Robert Liberace

Fibre Space, a local yarn store that I love has been selected as the flagship store for designer Jared Flood’s newest endeavor, Shelter.  Shelter is a beautiful yarn that is processed and spun in the states and it’s simply yummy.  I stopped by there yesterday after work to see the loveliness.   I left there with five  skeins of the red (long Johns) and a lovely pattern for a shawl called Terra.

Afterward, I headed to class with Robert Liberace.  I’ve decided that for the next 4 weeks I’d work on silverpoint drawing instead of painting (its a logistical problem).

Once I arrived I found out that the model hadn’t shown in one of the classrooms.  So I told Rob I’d love to model for his demo.  Yes I am evil, but I adore his work and its fun, and modeling gives you a very tiny sense of what a professional model has to endure for his/her job.

So this is the study Rob did.  It’s an initial grasaille, with sienna, black and white used.  He toned his canvas with the sienna and once dray started painting using a #6 brush and black.  I couldn’t see what he was doing, but he said that he was using the black in the manner of Howard Pyle (early 20th century artist and illustrator), like he was drawing with it. and he used it for the shadows.

Rob then went back in with a mid-tone mixed with the white and black to model all the mid-tones and soften the transition between shadows and mid-tones.

Once done to his satisfaction he added more white and captured the light and then used an even brighter light tone for the highlights.  He created this painting in two sessions a total of about 40-50 minutes.

Isn’t it beautiful?



Silverpoint 6 Aug 10

Silverpoint drawing on prepped surface (moleskins)

We had a great model for class last night.  He was placed in an awesome pose that reminded me of a spanish bullfighter, cocky and so very proud.

I was to his right so most of his back was in shadow and his torso was in profile.  The majority of his chest and arm are in shadow and the arm is foreshortened as well, so what might seem like is lower belly is actually his forearm and hand.

Not certain how well this will read but figured I should post it.

Friday Night Class

Finally made it to class this Friday.  I’ve been fighting a summer cold on and off this month and last.  Thank you random traveler on the flight home from Denver.  Your willingness to share a ton of germs with me caused me to miss more than a week of work and a ton of misery.

Ok back to class.

I always have a hard time shifting from painting to drawing and back again.  Maybe it was the fact that I’d missed the first two classes, but I was able to settle in pretty quickly.

We had a new model (in every sense, he’d never modeled before) and he did a great job. I liked that he had a build like normal people, so that made it more difficult to render what was going on with his abdomen but made it kind of fun as well.

I decided to work in silverpoint but did make a few quick gesture sketches to warm up.  I also made a conscious decision (after one false start) to focus on one area of the body for the evening.  This turned out to be the way to go.

My drawing wasn’t the best thing going, at the same time it didn’t completely suck.  Silver point is hard to photograph but I will try to get a better picture/

New Work

After Vermeer, early into the grisaille

After Vermeer, early into the grisaille

After my trip to the Met I was very excited about seeing Vermeer’s painting Study of a Young Woman.  I decided I wanted to try copying a Vermeer. 

Although I loved the Study of a Young Woman I don’t think I am up to its subtleties.  Well actually I am not sure I am up to the one I picked either but I loved the painting so I wanted to give it a shot.

I decided to attempt two works of art.  Antique Warrior which is a metal point drawing by DaVinci and Girl with a Pearl Earring by Vermeer.  Both are fairly ambitious but I’ve been itching to paint. 

To prepare I went to a copy shop and enlarged the Vermeer, DaVinci and a couple of other paintings.  The purpose is to use the copies to see more detail as I paint and I will destroy them once finished.

I started on the Vermeer first.  I redrew it several times and finally settled on this one. 

After Vermeer, Grisaille (comparison)

After Vermeer, Grisaille (comparison)

I still need to rework her nose, right eye and the top of her turban/hat and take out the reflected light along her jaw.  This is what the copy and the picture I used look like side by side.  It’s not a great picture so I apologize in advance but at least it gives you an idea of where I am heading. 

DaVinci Drawing

Leonardo DaVinci, Antique Warrior

Leonardo DaVinci, Antique Warrior


I have always loved DaVinci’s Antique Warrior.  Although the British museum states it is metalpoint, I believe the drawing was silverpoint (due to the pantina evident).  So I prepped a 10″x14″ piece of bristol board.  Because the drawing is so complex, I transferred the image with charcoal rather than risking it freehand.

This is the original on the left.  I found this image at the Universal Leonardo website which is a great source for information on DaVinci.  The actual  image I used was from a book I found at Strand Books in NYC.  This image was much clearer so I decided to post this one.

I discovered some interesting things while copying this, I kept thinking this is going too well when drawing the curlicues of the ribbons and feathery plants.  That made me wonder if DaVinci was left handed.  Turns out he was so that explains why it seemed so much easier than I thought it would be.

After DaVinci, Antique Warrior (in progress)

After DaVinci, Antique Warrior (in progress)

I also discovered a problem (for me at least) with silverpoint.  I was looking at something that had a beautiful pantina yet here I was trying to recreate these gorgeous darks with something that would take years to darken to this point.  So I had to settle for lighter and hope for the best.

I still need to do some significant work to the arms, breastplate and helm.  I decided to leave the head and neck alone for a bit until those are done and I have my darkest dark established.  

When I took this picture it came out very light.  To make the line work visible I fiddled with the contrast so that you could see the lines of the drawing.

Friday Night Class 10 Aug

I’ve discovered the violet in the clouds was the result of taking a photo in low-light on this camera. I may have to take it back to the store which makes me one sad panda.

The model for this evening was one of my favorites, she’s really nice and she has some really dramatic poses. I was very happy with the silver point drawing. In person this image is pale silvery gray. It’s difficult to take a picture of this type of drawing because the metal in the silver point reflects light.  I also decided to delete the picture of the drawing until I get a better image.

On the plus side, the model loved the drawing and she also loved the picture I painted of her during Ted’s class (I showed her on my camera).  I asked her permission to post the silver point becuase her face would be clearly visible. 

It’s late and I am tired so ~it’s off to bed.