"I begin with an idea ... and then it becomes something else"
~ Picasso

Wednesday 3 May 2017

Surface Treatment Workshop - week 12

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 quite pleasing branching patterns.

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.

"Three days Ride" - Matthew Lanyon - oil and gold leaf

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 precious 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


Evelyn said...

Lots of lovely colours and textures here - glad you enjoyed the gold leaf - I think you had more success with it than me! Here's to next weeks workshop...

Sue Marrazzo Fine Art said...

SO COOL! I always like gold.

Robin Olsen said...

It's been fun to follow your experiments. And I agree--your painting is perfect just as it is. I love that luscious brush of white across it.

Julie said...

The paintings are lush! Exactly St Ives colours. The gold leaf does look very much like sea weed.I'e had some metal leaf in my studio for at least 15 years, maybe I should get it out and have a play. You keep inspiring me, I just need to do it :-)

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Another interesting series of experiments! I was given some gold leaf many years ago but had absolutely no clue what to do with it. Would have been nice had I seen this back then! Now I'm wondering whatever became of it....hmmm.....

Carol Rigby said...

I always love a bit if gold.

Anonymous said...

Lovely wonderful gold. I am sure you are using all those bits, it's quite expensive. Really makes the work stand out though! xox

Beverley said...

Catching up with your posts.... enjoying them very much. There's no need to buy gilding flakes if you have gold leaf sheets. Place a sheet into a jar, insert scissors and chop it up.