classical, emerging artist, gilding, jane irish painting style, jessica libor, modern classical, neo preraphaelite, new york artist, patent gilding, patent gold leaf, philadelphia emerging artist, preraphaelite, water gilding
Yesterday I had my first attempt at gilding with real deal gold–23 karat patent leaf, to be exact. This material was recommended to me by fellow artist at PAFA Kelly Schumacher, who had a good experience purchasing at Artist and Craftsman in Philadelphia. I also found the staff very knowledgeable in the process of leafing, answering each of my specific questions, many artists themselves with firsthand experience with gilding. I have gilded with metal leaf in the past, but after thinking about it came to the realization that it was important to me that my paintings be fully authentic. I don’t just want it to look like precious metal, I want it to be the real thing.
I spent the rest of the day detailing my underpainting–preparing the places where I wanted to gold leaf to go by applying a red basecoat, then adhesive once the basecoat was dry. I spent hours on the swirls around the edge of the tapestry in the painting, but the results were worth it. The process worked great, with results more precise than I was expecting.
One thing I realized was that real gold is not quite as high-shine naturally as the fake stuff. After doing some research, it seems like the way to make real gold high-polish is by water gilding. I would like to try water gilding once I have mastered patent gilding, since the water gilding seems a good bit more sensitive and process oriented. Also, for the piece I am working on, I like the soft glow that the 23 Karat patent produced.