View Full Version : Pastels Sull'Oro (On Gold Leaf)

Kathryn Wilson
02-19-2005, 07:05 PM
One of the workshops at the International Assoc. of Pastel Societies convention this year is learning the technique of pastels painting on gold leaf.

Has anyone seen this technique done, or tried it themselves? Has anyone seen a pastel painting completed with this technique?

Inquiring mind wants to know - :D

Kitty Wallis
02-20-2005, 01:56 PM
I'm curious too. I haven't seen anything done this way. I wonder how pastel can stick to gold leaf.

02-20-2005, 02:55 PM
Count me in too...as curious, that is. I'm more curious as to WHY anyone would want to cover up gold with pastels!?!?!?! I must not have quite so adventurous a mind or something. Sounds a lot like doing folk embroidery designs on rare fur or maybe putting truffles in homely oatmeal cookies....

Kathryn Wilson
02-20-2005, 06:48 PM
I have several pieces of art (not pastel) that incorporate copper and silver leaf - I would think it would be an added on splash of gold, but now I hafta know. I think I will sign up for this one - :D

Mikki Petersen
02-21-2005, 02:48 AM
I have seen lots of works in galleries that incorporate gold leaf and other metallic foils as accents. I also know that a lot of metallic paints are available in the wet mediums but I think it takes a special skill to use these and not create something gaudy. If they are actually painting on a gold leaf surface, I would think it would have a distinctly oriental feel to the work. Like Kitty, I have to wonder how they get the pastel to stick to the gold leaf? Will be curious to see what you come up with in the workshop.


02-23-2005, 03:02 AM
I did some simple pastels a while ago (long while ago now I come to think of it) where I used gold leaf foils. I dont remember WHY the pastels adhered to them, but they did. the thing is, you dont cover up all the gold - what would be the point in working on it otherwise - it is left to break thro the pastel strokes and become part of the painting. I did some simple still life pieces - like, a single apple - and it worked really well. Very interesting effect. Why not try it...those little copper, silver and gold foils which come in sets, aren't expensive, it's only the true gold leaf which costs a fortune.


02-23-2005, 03:37 AM
it sounds fascinating - I'd be interested to see the results. When it's used well I love to see gold leaf in paintings. Done badly it is desperately tacky!

09-28-2005, 10:54 AM
OK, so I've got my sheets of gold leaf, the cheapo version (EberhardFaber 'easy metal') and the special glue to go with it and I'm ready to experiment!

Can Jackie (or anyone else who's tried this technique of pastelling over gold leaf) tell me whether you can attach it to any surface? Should it be smooth? Is Canson paper ok?

Kathryn Wilson
09-30-2005, 01:59 PM
I just saw this E-J - so sorry!

Boy, I am trying to remember what she told us in the workshop. Let me see if I can find my notes and I'll PM you. It seemed to be quite a process and you don't actually pastel onto the gold leaf itself. Having a senior moment here.

09-30-2005, 02:14 PM
There's no hurry, Kat - but thank you!

I tried it yesterday with a sheet of Canson and it only buckled ever so slightly. What hadn't occurred to me before, however, is that the gold leaf is so thin that it takes on the texture of the surface it's stuck to ... The technique Jackie described seems to involve pastelling directly on top, but somehow I don't think gold leaf with that pitted Canson texture is going to hold much pastel!! :)

09-30-2005, 05:10 PM
Please, I'm sure I'm not the only one who would like to see your notes. I'd appreciate it if you'd put them in this thread.

Kathryn Wilson
09-30-2005, 05:30 PM
oooooooooooooo, now I am in trouble if I don't find those notes. (digging frantically everywhere for those notes) - :)

09-30-2005, 06:14 PM
Funny, I just picked up some inexpensive gold leaf at A.C. Moore for some fimo beads I was making. Now I have to try this.

Jackie, do you still have what you did? Maybe you can show us!!

But I did nose around the internet and found this (this is oil pastels though):

This one has "real" pastel (only kidding...please...don't get upset! :D):

Anyhow, it sounds interesting and when I get back home I will play around with it.


09-30-2005, 09:14 PM
Here's a site from IAPS with paintings by Anne Heywood who presented the workshop. http://www.pastelinternational.com/conventions/convention2005/calendar/heywood.asp
Also a link to her homepage:


10-01-2005, 11:40 AM
This is fun!! Thanks Mary for the links and I wanted to add that there was an article in International Pastel Artist from Doug Dawson on the techniques he used for applying gold leaf after doing some pastel work, and for applying pastel after applying some gold leaf. Very interesting but I'd have to go through all of the issues to find it!! When I get a chance I'll do that. I've tried it a bit, but not enough time to get a keeper.

There has also been an article in Pastel Journal, early issue, on an abstract pastel artist who does fun stuff with gold leaf and pastels but there was no techniques just interesting work.

Gotta go, the weather in Michigan is going south soon and I am smitten by the plein air bug, did 27 lovely little things this summer at a small wetlands, gotta get back there. So I appologize if I'm missing in action!

Love to all artists and all others.


Kathryn Wilson
10-17-2005, 07:36 PM
Bringing this back up again - an answer to our prayers (or mine since I cannot decipher my notes) - there is an article in December's Pastel Journal by Anne Heywood on the technique she uses, along with all the proper supplies she recommends.

:D :D :D :D

10-17-2005, 10:47 PM
Oh this is something I am totally facing right now.... I want to add gold leaf to the platter in this "coming to an easel near me soon" painting. http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Oct-2005/9218-chopstix2b350px.jpg

Did ya find those notes Kat??? LOL... Do you mean last December... have to go diving for that one...

thanks for bringing back up.

Colleen :D

Kathryn Wilson
10-17-2005, 11:25 PM
LOL - maybe if I read the article than look at my notes, I might be able to understand what I wrote. I wish she'd had a handout to refer to after the workshop - it would have been helpful. But the article in the Journal looks pretty comprehensive - I hope it gets to your area soon.

10-18-2005, 02:22 AM

I've seen actual gold leaf in sources like Jerry's and Sinopia Pigments. The real gold leaf may have different properties than the simulated gold leaf. I noticed an article in the current Pastel Journal that outlines this practice, but haven't had a chance to read it yet. Hope this helps.

10-20-2005, 01:27 PM
I just received the latest Pastel Journal, and there in plain easy to understand writing is an article by Anne Heywood on exactly how to prepare the surface and paint with gold foil. Hope you have the magazine soon too if you don't already have it, and have a great time trying this method. :)