How to apply gold leaf to paper – part 1

I took some bit-by-bit photos of this ‘ gold fagot ’ as I did her. Couldn ’ t say I ’ m an technical gilder, but I have had a bite of practice by now and I ’ ve learn one or two things, so I thought I ’ vitamin d write a little explanation for anyone concerned .
here ( below ) is the delineate draw. The lap is to be entirely gilded .
To gild on paper you need to stick the gold on with something. ‘ Gold size ’ is what the proper glue is called that the gold leaf is stuck on with, but the actual kind of gold size you use depends identical a lot on what coat you are gilding. On wallpaper, acrylic fiber gold size is ideal – it ’ s not a traditional amber size, but one of those new-fangled modern things 😉 The size is painted on, allowed to dry a little until it is not moisture, but still muggy enough to hold the gold flick, and then the aureate is applied to this sticky come on .
gold comes in two forms : free flick, which is incredibly thin, fluttery and delicate, and a sting crafty to handle ; and transfer leaf, which is gold leaf decrepit bonded onto a plane of wax newspaper, which makes it much easier to handle. The problem is that with transportation leaf I ’ ve found you don ’ thymine get such a good stopping point because the aureate never comes absolutely off the wax newspaper.

When I used to use transfer leaf I used a aureate size that stayed actually gluey for ever, but that meant that the surface was always a little easy underneath the gilt and the airfoil was actually easily damaged, scratched and fair generally not very decent. This one I am using now ( picture below ) is not about as sticky when it has dried, and finally it stops being sticky at all. Because it ’ s not thus awkward it ’ s much better with loosen leaf than it is with transfer leaf as loose leaf only needs the rebuff adhesion. Transfer leaf needs to be pulled off the wax composition. All acrylic fiber gold size formulations are not adequate – and this is the one I have found that I like best : ‘ Ormoline gilding culture medium ’ made by C. Roberson & Co. It is picket tap. Watch your paintbrushes with this : it ’ s not angstrom badly as some gold sizes but still, constantly rinse them out with water straight away, and never use your front-runner painting ones !
The trickiest thing I find about gilding on composition is not applying the gold leaf, it ’ s about how you put the gold size on. The problem is that gold leaf is so reduce it hides nothing about the surface you stick it to, and because it ’ s bright it magnifies any imperfections. It will besides actually show up the dispute between a thin layer of gold size where the texture of the composition is very clear to see, and a thick layer of gold size where it is a smooth open. Any tide marks as you apply the size, for case, are going to be in truth visible once you put the amber leaf on .
In the past I have avoided tide marks and imperfections to a capital extent by using masking fluent which I will cover erstwhile in another post. This time I decided to take advantage of them and make a feature of speech of it. I thought tide marks would be fine equally long as they were depart of the design, so rather than just filling in the circle that is to be gilded by starting at one side and painting cashbox I got to the other side, I began by painting gold size in concentric circles – you can see this below in pale pink lines :
I continued painting concentric circles until the whole lap was filled in, allowing edges to dry, going over again on some of the surface so that some circles got a copulate of coats and so on. You can see this slightly below, but it will be a lot more obvious once it ’ randomness gilded. It besides has the advantage that large areas of the newspaper aren ’ t wet all at once, so it reduces the amount that the newspaper cockles .
Below is a piece of gold leaf – the sheets of leaf, which are about 4 inches square, can be cut to size with a sharp knife on a the suede cloth surface of a gilder ’ sulfur cushion. I might cover this besides in another post, but truly briefly, the brush in the photograph is a gilder ’ south tiptoe, used to pick up gold leaf and lay it on the surface to be gilded, and you can pick up the gold by first brushing the gilders tip over your brow where it will pick up enough grease from your font to good pick up the gold leaf. I am not making this up, it is the traditional method acting !
here is the first firearm of gold flick on the newspaper. I use a balmy, erstwhile, and now identical mop-headed sable brush to lightly tamp down the amber leaf all over onto the surface. You can buy specialized brushes for this, but it ’ s not closely so necessity as a proper gilder ’ s tap .
here ( below ) is the surface all covered with gold leaf now. Having lightly tamped down all the aureate, you can then use the same soft brush to brush off the excess bits of gold leaf .
And voilà ! now you can see what I mean about the imperfections in the paint on of the gold size. The concentric circles work as part of the effect – if it had been random tide lines it might have looked a morsel of a pig ’ sulfur ear, specially when you have to paint lento around complex edges and faster around larger areas .
You can frequently see cracks and wrinkles in the gild, but I quite like those – it gives it a actual leaf look, unlike aureate paint.

On the submit of gold paint, good a light note to say that I besides painted in the sections between the fagot ’ mho wings where they are in front of the gold magnetic disk, with ‘ shell gold ’. This is the most frighteningly expensive amber paint in the world, being made of saturated gold powderize, held together with a little gum Arabic. It looks like a bantam block of firm watercolor, which it very is, but at a price ! The effect is excessively elusive to be something I would buy again, but since I have it…
The finish painting : pencil and 24k* amber flick, with pencil .
* ( you can say computerized tomography or kilobyte for the karat / karat quality of gold. I believe ‘ thousand ’ is more american, however, I prefer it because it distinguishes between the karat quality of aureate and the karat weight of diamonds, which is a wholly unlike thing )

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