My interest in silverpoint began in 1986 after viewing The Fine Line: Drawing with Silver in America at the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock.
Silverpoint is drawing with silver wire on a specifically prepared surface. The support must be coated with a ground, which provides an abrasive surface. I have drawn with silver, copper, aluminum, and steel wool. Drawing grounds used have included acrylic gesso (white), gouache, watercolor, and a gesso-mix of crushed marble, animal skin glue, and titanium white pigment. In the drawing process minute metal particles are deposited on the ground. Erasing to achieve complete removal of the metal is not possible.
Silverpoint dates back to the medieval period and was highly favored as a drawing tool during the Renaissance. By the 17th century silverpoint fell out of favor as artists preferred other drawing materials that were less labor intensive. In the latter part of the 19th century silverpoint was re-discovered. Today it is enjoying another revival.