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Old 05-27-2018, 10:48 AM
JuliusEvola JuliusEvola is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2018
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Painting with egg tempera over gold leaf

I've worked with gold leaf before, but I've only ever applied it after painting. With the work that I'm currently planning, I'd like to cover the panel in leaf and paint my subject in the centre of the panel, over the leaf, so that it is not only surrounded by gold, but that the gold comes through. I'll be working in egg tempera and I only use real gold leaf, not imitation gold (i.e. copper) leaf, and because gold leaf is expensive I don't want to ruin it. My worry is that I've always been taught that tempera needs gesso directly under it, to hold onto, but if I gesso over the gold in the outline of what I'll be painting, it will cover the gold and keep it from coming through, which defeats the purpose of painting over the gold.


What shall I do?
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Old 05-28-2018, 06:31 PM
Artist_by_Accident Artist_by_Accident is offline
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Re: Painting with egg tempera over gold leaf

I don't know how it would work over gold leaf, but I used some transparent gesso over an aluminum panel when I wanted the aluminum show through.
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Old 01-03-2019, 08:18 PM
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Alessandra Kelley Alessandra Kelley is offline
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Re: Painting with egg tempera over gold leaf

I've painted with tempera over real gold leaf.

I would suggest lightly hatching or stippling the gold where the paint is going to go with something not too sharp, like a bamboo skewer, to give the paint a little extra adhesion.
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Old 02-24-2019, 05:49 PM
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RodneyW RodneyW is offline
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Re: Painting with egg tempera over gold leaf

It’s so good to find a group that is working with egg tempera. I look forward to gaining knowledge from all of you. Thank you for sharing you experience.
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Old 06-09-2019, 10:10 AM
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VictorND VictorND is offline
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Re: Painting with egg tempera over gold leaf

Be sure to cover the gold for adhesion. It can shellac or water-based acrylic lacquer, but very thin. Do not use earth pigments for paint transparency. It is better to choose pigments that are less opaque and have transparency. Also, the egg tempera is a bit unclear. For transparency, I would use acrylic binder and pigment.
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