Here is a view of the plate in progress on my work table. I am using a #4
burin to engrave. I have sharpened the burin so many times over the years that it has gotten really short. I recently bought another one but the shaft snapped when I tried to re-angle the face. Must have been bad steel. I have a peacock feather duster for reference on the table. I had never actually drawn peacock feathers before, so am learning. I am trying to decide how (or if) to attempt to render the irridescence en engraved line. I was happy to see a peacock feather design in the brocade a virgin is wearing in a Paolo Veneziano altarpiece at the Accademia. I also had a look at Aubrey Beardsley's Peacock Skirt, but although his approach to drawing the feathers is delightful and gorgeous in its own way, Beardsley wasn't too informative for me.
The second photo is a closer detail of the engraved peacock (or rather, the Victorian peacock feather holder)in . The lines are filled with whiting (bianco di Spagna) so they are easily legible while I work. I am starting to indicate some of the architecture now.