Pouncing – Technique, materials, procedures

In the drawings of small things it will be sufficient to use pouncing, which is done by making thick and minute holes by the contours and dust them with pulverized coal tied in a rag that is able to leave its less sensitive footprints. This by painters is called pouncing.
(Andrea Pozzo, Perspectiva pictorum et architectorum. Prospettiva de’ pittori ed architetti, Breve istruzione per dipingere a fresco, Sezione Settima- Ricalcare Rome, Giovanni Giacomo Komarek 1693-98).

Systems of transferring the drawing – Pouncing


Pouncing. Method of transferring the 1: 1 scale drawing onto a new surface using a sheet of cardboard or paper with holes along the outlines of a drawing.
The technique requires the sheet to be placed on the surface and then beaten with a bag containing coal dust (or a colored pigment) along the perforated outline of the drawing itself: the imprint of the original is thus brought back to the new surface thanks to the passage of powder or pigment through the holes.

Cennino Cennini (end of the Fourteenth Century) already speaks of “pouncing” in relation to painting on wood, while Filippo Baldinucci (1681) defines the word pouncing as follows: “What you can obtain with this method, which implies a sheet with holes in it along the outlines of the drawing, is making coal or chalk dust tied in a rag pass through these holes (to transfer the drawing), this is called pouncing”.

Giacinto Carena (1853) describes it as “a thin and sparse “button” or cloth bag, in which cardboard, chalk or other powder is tied, to be used for dusting, lightly beating, or rubbing the punched holes. Florentine artists also briefly call it the “button” when the context of the speech excludes any misunderstanding.

French: Poncif  – Italian: Spolvero– Spanish: Estarcido – German: Lochpause.

Manfredi Faldi

Licenza Creative Commons
Quest’opera è distribuita con Licenza Creative Commons Attribuzione – Non commerciale – Condividi allo stesso modo 4.0 Internazionale.