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Art students drawn to London

In a quest to study firsthand the lost art of Renaissance silverpoint drawing, David Young, Assistant Professor of Art led 15 art students to the British Museum and the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle in London. Both institutions allowed students to sit in study rooms where tables were spread with original silverpoint drawings by Leonardo da Vinci.

“Copying old master drawings is a helpful tool for art students - not to simply copy a nice drawing, as most people infer, but to actually learn HOW to draw. Students were given magnifying glasses, which allowed them to get up close and analyze the drawings mark by mark, stroke by stroke. That is something that is simply not possible with a photo or book reproduction of a drawing,” Young said.

Pencils, according to Young, marked the beginning of the end of silverpoint.

Students Sara Hunt,
left, and Jessica Lowe,
right, sketch in the Victoria
& Albert Museum, while a
plaster cast of
David looks on.
“There is nothing, really, that silverpoint can do that pencils cannot do easier, cheaper and faster. But there is a magical quality to drawing with silver (or gold or copper or platinum) that lends the drawing technique another layer of meaning or significance. It is a more precise and careful process, as erasing is not really an option, that adds a huge factor of difficulty. It certainly requires patience, skill and dedication,” Young explained.

Students were enrolled in a drawing class with the Cooperative Center for Studies Abroad. Costs for the trip were offset by generous scholarships awarded to the students through the UC Foundation.

View the silverpoint drawings of the UTC art students at the UTC Fine Arts Center, at the corner of Vine and Palmetto Streets.

February 11, 2005
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