Silver point was used by old masters such as Leonardo da Vinci and Albrecht Durer and is an older drawing method than graphite. The drawings are characterised by a delicacy of line. There has been a contemporary art revival of silverpoint among European artists and academies because the medium imposes considerable discipline in draughtsmanship since drawings cannot be erased or altered.
Silver point is a fine line drawing technique, rendering precise detail. A silver point drawing is made by dragging a silver wire across a surface, often prepared with gesso or primer. The softness of the metal makes it an effective drawing instrument. The initial marks of silver point appear grey, but silverpoint lines, when exposed to air, tarnish to a warm brown tone. The oxidation becomes perceptible over a period of several months.