Another week flies by and we are now on week 12 of the Surface Treatment Workshop and this week we are using metal leaf in our art samples.
Evelyn didn't enjoy using metal leaf at all ... but still produced lovely samples. I, however, loved it! I have used metal leaf before and I also, quite regularly, use gilding flakes and foils. So my experiments today were more to do with how to adhere the leaf to my paintings.
This one (below) was using glue stick. It was truly messy and patchy and the foil didn't adhere at all neatly so I can see it would have a very poor archival property.
Next I tried simply adhering the metal leaf directly in the wet paint (acrylics). This was better, but was still a little "hit and miss", adhering in some places and not in others and not the effect I was hoping for.
Next I tried using some Golden matt medium gel (remembering, from recent weeks, that it was a good product for embedding). I applied the matt medium gel through a lace paper doily, lifted off the doily and then placed the gold metal leaf on the wet glue pattern (after it had dried which took less than an hour). Then, I gently brushed off the excess metal leaf.
I was pleased to see the lace pattern
So ... spurred on by this happy result ... I tried using the Golden gel matt medium through an acetate stencil. I taped down the stencil with masking tape and applied the Golden gel matt medium through the stencil. I carefully lifted off the stencil to reveal the sticky areas and placed a sheet of gold metal leaf over the top and left for an hour.
Note - wash your stencil as soon as possible after use.
Then, using a soft paintbrush, I carefully brushed the excess leaf away, finding that the leaf only stuck to the areas that I had glued. I was left with these lace branching patterns which remind me a little of seaweed and I was pleased with the colours behind.
As I don't have any size, which is usually recommended for applying metal leaf, I would definitely recommend using the Golden matt medium gel and, actually, I'm looking forward to trying this on my fabric collages and developing the technique in my paintings.
I've admired the application of gold leaf in paintings by some of my favourite artists, in particular the late Matthew Lanyon, a St. Ives artist.
I can see that the same technique would also work well with gilding flakes and need not necessarily be applied in a sheet for this purpose.
So I saved all the little bits of brushed off gold flakes to use again ...
I really enjoyed painting the bases for my samples this week and there was one that I liked just as it was (without the metal leaf) which I'm enjoying in my studio currently.
"the colour of St. Ives"
Next week brings a few samples with modelling and texture pastes which I enjoy using already. I hope to learn some new and inspiring applications. Till then ... thanks and love x