Metalpoint is a method of drawing with metals on a prepared surface. As the metal passes across the paper it leaves a deposit in the material used for the ground. The possibility for grounds is endless; casein, Chinese white, acrylic, gesso. Surety of hand is important because no erasure is possible. Most metals are usable and all of them, except gold and platinum, oxidize and tarnish over time. This results in a variety of colors that emerge after the drawing is completed. Silver will turn, shades of brown and copper goes towards a greenish blue. The quality of transformation permeates this way of working.
I use a variety of metal wires in a stylus. I also use flat and formed pieces of metal such as coins, jewelry, bullets and assorted vintage hardware. The black ground on the paper is gesso. After the metalpoint drawing is made, I add muted layers of watercolor or egg tempera as a gentle wash over parts of the drawing. The subtle coloring further enhances the emotion stirred by the metalpoint lines. The drawings are painted with sumei brushes, a contrast in many ways to the European tradition of metalpoint.