Trees Along the Banks of the Saône

saone trees

Silverpoint drawing of trees along the Saone river in France

A silverpoint drawing of trees along banks of the Saône

Creatively planted and groomed copses, such as this one, are spaced at intervals along the banks of the Saône river in France. I made a sketch of this one late one morning in the fall.

I’ve drawn this image from my original sketch using a medieval drawing technique called silverpoint (or metalpoint). The method flourished during the Renaissance, but was obsolete by the 18th century; graphite had become the preferred medium.

light reflections on silverpoint

Light reflecting off silverpoint drawing.

This drawing is done entirely by dragging metals across the gessoed surface producing a light gray tone. Darker values are achieved by going over areas several times. For drawing tools, I used what I had handy—a brass belt buckle, gold and silver jewelry, a sliver-plated spoon, and a cast bronze belt buckle. Because the image is drawn entirely with metal, it reflects light when viewed from various angles (as shown here).