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Old 03-30-2008, 04:47 AM
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shlomok shlomok is offline
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Oil painting and gold leaf gilding

Hi,
I recently came to know about the work of artist Fred Wessel whoc works with egg tempera and gold (http://home.comcast.net/~f.wessel/tech.html).
Inspired by his work I got some 23.75 karat gold leafs from Blick (http://www.dickblick.com/zz270/14/) and I intend using them in my oil paintings. I just touched one of the leafs and it was almost completely ruined due to the static electricity in my hand .... so it odes need special handling.

My question is :has any of the members here had any experience with gold combined with an oil painting? Which materials have you used and what was your experience.

Thanks,
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Old 03-30-2008, 10:32 AM
Snowbound Snowbound is offline
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Re: Oil painting and gold leaf gilding

Haven't used with oils but have used it and silver in fused glass. Don't touch with hands. Use a small, very clean brush to pick up and smooth in place. For oil, I would think that you would need to wait until the surface has at dried to barely tacky or even completely to apply leaf very carefully-- it will stick where it is put and will tear if you try to move it.

Again, foil would be less of a challenge. Costs more, though. Foil can be cut with small scissors and easily applied; leaf is too delicate and is usually applied whole and smoothed into place, usually using a special adhesive. If I am building a design, I use a small brush to carefully pull off what I need, or apply the sheet whole, smooth, and trim, using a teeny knife with great concentration. (Then everything changes when I fire it unless I am very careful to not offend the kiln gods.)

I'd like to hear also from people who've used leaf and/or foil in oil. I've seen it used as accents, and done well in the right setting, it looks nice.

Dayle Ann
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Old 03-30-2008, 11:50 AM
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Re: Oil painting and gold leaf gilding

I worked at a prophouse where we rented guilded objects that the ownner really enjoyed creating. Im a bit fuzzy on the process since I only occationally repaired some nicks and scratches, and this was long long ago.

Most of the work was in prepairing the surface the gold was going to be layed on. Surface sized & gesso, or colored clays (blk, red, tan) where applied in several thin layers with sanding inbetween layers to get a VERY smooth surface. Any imperfection on the surface would be easily seen after the guilding.

This is where Im most fuzzy, ... a glue was applied, I believe it was RSG, and one had to work quick. Wait so it got tacky, but not dry or wet.

Handling the leaf was tricky. A special brush and rubber static free mat was used. The brush looked like a comb with long delecate hairs, about the same width as the leaf. I want to say that the brush was rubed on somthing to build up a charge (I beleive on my leg) so that when the hairs touched the leaf, it would grab onto it. Anyway, the edge of he hairs would be placed on the edge of the leaf, and once it grabed onto the brush, the person appling it has to make sure it wont fold in on itself or wrinkle, so if you can imaging someone unfurling a tableclothe onto a table, that was one has to do to apply the leaf.use gravity and air to get it to fall onto the object without follding or wrinkling.


After the leaf is aplied, (depending on what you are going for of course), it'll stil need a burnishing stage wich is to use a brush with a marble tip on it to rub in a perfect smoothness. Its a tedious process, but the results are amazing.

Here are a couple of places that sell the more pro guilding equipment. The things I wouldnt do without if I decided to guild would be a guilder's cusion/pad, guilder's tip (long delecate hair to pick up leaf), A wide flat burnishing stone, and some colored clays because the color greatly effects the end result much like the color of a ground will for a painting. Im partial to black and red, red for renisance antique gold, black for white gold ,silver or palladium.
http://www.sinopia.com/index.asp?Pag...TS&Category=78
http://naturalpigments.com click on guilding

Last edited by Smokin : 03-30-2008 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 03-30-2008, 12:02 PM
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gunzorro gunzorro is offline
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Re: Oil painting and gold leaf gilding

I've incorporated gold into oil paintings -- in small pieces. Larger full sheets are more difficult, and I only did that with one small panel. I simply coated the surface with a thin medium or glaze (with siccative), allowed it to get tacky, then laid down the gold leaf. I either left it exposed, or painted over it.
Gold leaf can be directly painted over without further prep.

Small panels:


Gold leaf and oil paint on copper, 18x24:


Multi-panel pieces (approx. 15"):


Completed triptych (approx 15"):
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Old 03-30-2008, 12:38 PM
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Re: Oil painting and gold leaf gilding

Thanks to all 3 of you for the excellent information. Jim, these are exceptional pieces of art!.
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Old 03-30-2008, 05:11 PM
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Re: Oil painting and gold leaf gilding

I used to do gilding for illuminations, and we'd use watered down wood glue, allow it to dry for 24 hours, and then regain the tackiness by brushing on a little bit of alcohol. To apply it, we'd cut a small square of the leaf and burnish it on with a small polished extremely smooth stone, like you'd find at a children's nature store. Some gold leaf is also sold in sheets with a backing, so it's easier to handle.

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Old 03-30-2008, 05:17 PM
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Re: Oil painting and gold leaf gilding

Shlomok,

This video shows a mirror being restored in gold leaf. In the video you see the brush used to lay the gold leaf and how the restorer cuts the gold leaf.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvGI6...eature=related
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Old 04-10-2010, 12:12 AM
zizi40 zizi40 is offline
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Re: Oil painting and gold leaf gilding

Hello, I do too , want to know how to apply leaf gold on oil canvas ... on my Virgen Mary Icon...
I really appreciate any good information.
Many thanks,
Zizi40
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Old 04-10-2010, 04:17 PM
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Nevadaron Nevadaron is offline
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Re: Oil painting and gold leaf gilding

The YouTube person is "surface gilding" using a Gilder's Tip - probably badger hair, a rather 'stiff' hair. The gold is adhered to the surface with Gold Size - varnish willl do, in a pinch.
Glass gilding is a similar operation but possibly using a Squirrel Hair, soft bristles, tip and the size for glass [on the inside] is geletin dissolved in warm water.
The gold is attracted to the tip bristles by minute amounts of oil - NOT static NEVER allow size or any other contaminent to get onto the tip hairs or it won't work properly... only oil, microscopic amounts from your own hair or scalp, should by applied to the tip.
I know this - and lots of other dumb stuff - from several years as a working sign painter. I can advise you that it takes a large amount of practice . . . and a good instructor is verrry helpful too.

Nevada Ron
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Old 04-11-2010, 11:55 AM
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Mark Sheeky Mark Sheeky is offline
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Re: Oil painting and gold leaf gilding

I've used gold in my oil paintings. The correct size/glue for gold is japan oil, a quick drying oil, but you can get faster acrylic or PVA based sizes. You should be able to use any oil media or varnish providing it tacks up reasonably quickly. It's best to apply the gold first then paint over or around the areas. As with any metal, oil over it might have trouble adhereing so it's best not to paint over a large area (besides, that would be a waste of gold). Some icons were/are largely oil over a full sheet of gold layed onto gesso (that is plaster; not acrylic gesso!).

As mentioned here, manipulating the gold is a skill. There are two types; loose leaf like you've used and transfer leaf which is partly stuck to backing. I prefer loose myself. You can use a gilder's tip to manipulate the gold or even pick up and drop it. I use a palette knife specially cleaned with alcohol for the purpose. Even a fingerprint on the knife would make the gold stick. One rule with leaf is never touch anything! A gilder's knife and cushion might be useful to you. Use cotton wool balls to press it down very gently.

When you have a non-absorbant surface, apply the size and when tacky apply the gold. Next day, you can start painting. I have applied gold to specific areas over an underpainting before. That worked well enough but some gold fragments stuck (and will always stick) to the paint, so you'll probably have to paint over some parts.

Finally, pure gold doesn't tarnish so you don't need to protect it but silver leaf will and is traditionally varnished with shellac. There are silver alternatives though; palladium or platinum, or even aluminium if you want to save money.

Mark
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Last edited by Mark Sheeky : 04-11-2010 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:59 PM
michelle021 michelle021 is offline
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Re: Oil painting and gold leaf gilding

Did anyone ever find out how to apply gold leaf to an oil painting?
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Old 11-12-2010, 11:22 PM
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Re: Oil painting and gold leaf gilding

Looks like it's pretty well spelled-out to me. All you have to do is pick someone's advice.
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Old 11-13-2010, 12:36 AM
michelle021 michelle021 is offline
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Re: Oil painting and gold leaf gilding

I guess I need a little more detail. I should have been more clear but when I wrote the question I guessed someone would reply and I'd then ask my questions. Everyone did a great job explaining but I am a little confused about how you put it on in a shape for instance. a hand or a leg, any part of the figure for that matter. It is very fragile so it is not as if someone can cut it. And - how does someone paint over it? Anyway -- will be hoping for news.
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Old 11-13-2010, 09:14 AM
dcorc dcorc is offline
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Re: Oil painting and gold leaf gilding

It seems to me that your questions are already answered in the posts above, particularly by Mark in post #10.

Quote:
I am a little confused about how you put it on in a shape for instance. a hand or a leg, any part of the figure for that matter

You paint that area with your size/glue, and apply gold over it, gently pat it down with cotton-wool balls, and then wipe/brush away any excess

Quote:
how does someone paint over it?

Just paint directly over it, after giving it overnight to adhere properly. See post #10 again.


Dave
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Old 11-13-2010, 09:28 AM
Max Klinger Max Klinger is offline
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Re: Oil painting and gold leaf gilding

Thanks to all for the great ideas! It is, what I will for sure try one day in my symbolic paintings...

Gunz, great to see pieces of your art here! Great transformation of colour theory and paint knowledge. Gold Yellow to Ultramarine Blue seems the strongest contrast to me. But the Gold Orange circled version is also impressive. Did I understood well: painted on copper? Wow and more questions I would like to ask you...
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