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Silverpoint is a graphic medium which preceded the common lead pencil.
Instead of lead a point of silver wire is fixed in a wooden holder. Since
this will leave but the faintest trace on an ordinary paper surface, a
special ground must be prepared. A paste of powdered bone or chalk mixed withwater and gum or starch is spread with a stiff brush in thin coats, each coat being allowed to dry before another is applied to form a perfectly smooth and even surface. The silverpoint is not so flexible a medium as pencil, and erasure is practically impossible. The pressure of the point on the ground demands careful control.
The main characteristics of silverpoint drawing are a fine clarity and delicate gray tonality. In time the line turns brown through oxidation.
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