The prepared surface on which the drawing is executed, composed of a binder, usually weak size
and dry ingredients. Titanium white pigment works very well. Historically lead white was used.
There are situations when the lead white pigment is preferable to titanium, however in silverpoint
ground it is not an advantage. Lead is poisonous and titanium is not; it seems reasonable to use
titanium. Optionally colored pigments may be used to modify the ground.
1. Mix together:
2 parts Titanium White Dry Ground Pigment (or pigment mixture)
3 parts “warm, weak” Size
To prepare the Size, or Rabbit-skin glue solution for silverpoint:
½ ounce dry glue grains + 25 liquid ounces water
1. Allow glue to soak in water for several hours or over night.
2. Place container with soaked glue grains into a second container with hot
water and allow glue to dissolve (as in a double boiler). DO NOT boil
the glue solution!
This is a “weak” size solution, other applications may call for stronger glue solutions.
Glue may be kept in the refrigerator for a week.
2. Commercially available Silverpoint Ground, follow instructions of manufacturer.
3. Many surfaces will work well as grounds for silverpoint drawing so you may
want to experiment to see what you like to draw on.
Possible alternative choices for grounds Gesso surfaces, Acrylic gesso or paint, painted surfaces and so on.)