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Submitted on
April 23, 2012
Image Size
3.7 MB


4 (who?)
Dark Shadows Silverpoint: Barnabas and His Love by A-Rae-K Dark Shadows Silverpoint: Barnabas and His Love by A-Rae-K
First a bit of explanation of the piece. I wanted to evoke a sense of sadness, because what I've seen so far in Barnabas is that he has an underlying melancholia. The girl in the picture you may recognize from previews of the movie. From what I have found, in the TV series her name was Josette Du Pres, Barnabas' fiance, before the jealous witch made him the creature he now is. I hope you can sense the longing in his eyes, and the eagerness and understanding in hers.

Important note: This work was not created in pencil(graphite), it was created in silverpoint. The reason for silverpoint usage is because 1)silverpoint pushes me to create some of my best pictures, and 2)everyone seems very into digital art, but I wanted to be a bit more traditional, and silverpoint is a medium used commonly in the time period Barnabas came from, so I felt that since he is such a stately figure, he should be made in silver, a stately material. Only the best for the Collins family!:] For a little extra info and a history lesson...

The paper a silverpoint drawing is created on is first prepared by covering it in gesso. Acrylic or any other canvas-painting people will know that gesso is necessary on a canvas to prevent the paint from seeping throught to the back, and gives one a blank surface.
The silver oxidises (or tarnishes, turning into brown colour) with time, and has begun, and is especially prevalent in the collar of Depp/Collin's coat, but you cannot see it in this picture (I'll upload a second, although not in the contest section). And, in addition, to darken and create shadows you have to cross hatch, because if you press too hard the silver will bend(very frustrating stuff!).
Also, another(almost scary!) thing to note about silverpoint is that once a mark is laid down, one cannot do anything to erease it, which makes it a great exercise to learn how to manuever your mistakes into your artwork and make it unique.
I promised some history, so here goes... silverpoint became prevalent in the 1500's and lasted especially throught the renaissance period. Some famous artists who used silverpoint include Rembrandt and Leonardo. (That's all I've got! :] )

The silver I used was obtained from my art teacher(and let me add that I thank him sincerely for his support thoughout this endeavour!)and is 0.5mm thickness. I straightened it out and inserted it into a mechanical pencil, and went from there.

One last note about the overall picture, I used the "tall template" (2500x3750), and my scanner was not large enough for the picture, (18 and 1/3 inches by 11 inches), so I took the picture with my Nikon D60. The only alterations made to the picture on the computer were cropping and overall lightening(done in Picasa)due to the fact that my camera took the picture very dark, which is not true to how the picture was drawn. Therefore, it was lightened.

Thank you for the opportunity, because without this contest I probably wouldn't have drawn this, which is my favourite silverpoint done thus far! Thanks for viewing/considering. Hope this description was, well, descriptive enough(maybe a little TOO descriptive... :] ) If you have any questions, please feel free to comment and ask! I would be happy to answer any and all inquiries.

ShadeOPale Oct 8, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
In addition to being a fine rendition of Barnabas and his lost love, the description of your medium and the silverpoint process, therein, is fascinating to read. While I studied this process many years ago, it is always wonderful to have a refresher course. Thank you for such a beautifully detailed, interesting, and original approach to the subject matter. It is something that Barnabas Collins himself would pleased with.
A-Rae-K Jan 21, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Thank you very much! I am glad someone enjoyed learning about it. :)
ShadeOPale Oct 8, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
"...would be pleased with." (New keyboard.)
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