Tuesday 24 February 2009

Leonardo drawings- materials

The City Art Gallery has an exhibition of 10 Leonardo da Vinci (1492-1519) drawings from Royal collection. I was surprised how small some of his sketches were -skulls drawn on A5 size pieces of paper. The paper may have lasted so long because it's made of pulped clothing, rather than wood pulp. Sometimes this paper was coated with ground bone, lead white and pigment, bound in a dilute glue - before scratching with metalpoint (silver stylus). He also used goose quill pens and iron gall ink - made from oak apples mixed with iron salts solution. He mixed his media - charcoal, chalk, pen & ink & lead white brushed on for highlights. Gorgeous stuff.

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