How to Sharpen A Silverpoint Stylus

When it coes to creating art with silverpoint, one of the most important aspects to consider is the sharpness of your stylus. The sharpness of your stylus can greatly affect the quality of your marks, and therefore the overall success of your artwork.

To sharpen your silverpoint stylus, you will need a few key tools. First, you will need a sharpening stone or sandpaper. You will also need a small piece of leather or cloth, and a jeweler’s rouge or polishing compound.

To begin, lay your sharpening stone or sandpaper on a flat surface. Hold your stylus at a 45-degree angle and gently rub the tip of the stylus back and forth against the stone or sandpaper. Be sure to apply even pressure and maintain the same angle throughout the sharpening process. Continue sharpening until the tip of the stylus is pointed and has a uniform shape.

Next, use your piece of leather or cloth to polish the tip of the stylus. Apply a small amount of jeweler’s rouge or polishing compound to the leather or cloth and gently rub the tip of the stylus in a circular motion. This will help to remove any burrs or imperfections that may be present after sharpening.

Once you have finished polishing the tip of the stylus, you are ready to use it for your artwork. Remember to be gentle with your marks and to maintain a consistent pressure. Silverpoint is a delicate medium and requires a light touch in order to produce the desired effect.

Sharpening your silverpoint stylus is an essential step in creating successful artwork with this unique medium. By using a sharpening stone or sandpaper, polishing compound, and a gentle touch, you can ensure that your stylus is sharp and ready to create beautiful marks on your prepared paper.

What Is The Disadvantage Of Silverpoint?

Silver point has a significant disadvantage due to its unique properties. One of the main challenges of the medium is that it only produces one shade, regardless of the amount of pressure applied to the stylus. This limitation can make it difficult for artists to achieve the desired level of detail and shading in thir work. Additionally, silver point can only be used on specially prepared ground, which further restricts its versatility. Another major drawback is that it is impossible to erase, which means that mistakes or changes cannot be corrected once they have been made. while silver point can create beautiful and unique works of art, its limitations and drawbacks make it a challenging medium to master.

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Does Silverpoint Contain Silver?

Silverpoint drawing technique involves the use of actual silver wire as the medium for drawing. The wire is held in a stylus, which is used to make marks on prepared paper. Therefore, silverpoint does contain silver in the form of a thin wire used for drawing.

Can You Erase Silverpoint?

It is possible to erase silverpoint. Despite the common misconception that silverpoint is not erasable, it is indeed erasable. The amount of silver used in silverpoint drawings is very little, so erasing it is like erasing a line of graphite, and the amount lost is negligible. Moreover, any eraser can be used to erase silverpoint as it is not a stubborn medium. Therefore, artists should not be hesitant to try silverpoint due to the fear of making mistakes as they can easily erase and correct them.

How Long Does It Take For Silverpoint To Oxidize?

Silverpoint is a drawing technique that involves using a silver wire on a specially prepared surface. Over time, silverpoint drawings can oxidize, which can change their appearance. The rate of oxidation depends on various factors such as the local conditions and the thickness of the silver layer. Typically, silverpoint oxidizes at a much slower rate compared to copper, taking about 4-6 months for noticeable changes to occur. However, it is important to note that the degree and speed of oxidation can vary depending on the specific materials and environmental factors involved.


Sharpening a silverpoint is crucial for achieving the desired level of precision and detail in your drawing. It is essential to use a sharpening stone or sandpaper to carefully sharpen the tip of the silver wire, ensuring that it is not too sharp or too blunt. Additionally, it is important to use the correct pressure when drawing with silverpoint, as it can only produce one shade and is difficult to erase. With the right technique and practice, silverpoint can be a beautiful and unique medium to work with, producing delicate and intricate drawings with a distinctive shimmering quality.

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William Armstrong

William Armstrong is a senior editor with, where he writes on a wide variety of topics. He has also worked as a radio reporter and holds a degree from Moody College of Communication. William was born in Denton, TX and currently resides in Austin.