found a bunch of tiny frames at the flea market last Sunday. In other words : miniature painting series coming right up! (the round one is a full piece of wood. Already started gessoing it :))
I do wonder why it is that whatever you are working on as an artist, inspiration always seems to be ahead of you. First comes the idea, then its realisation; but a new idea always comes before you are done with the previous one. It always feels like it’s a much better one, too - a constantly renewed “eureka!” that -in my case- makes me want to put everything I have done so far to the trash and start anew.
I suppose it is better than to have no ideas at all. But I do wish my trash impulses weren’t quite as strong!
experimenting with wax pouring on wooden panel. I know this is not supposed to be done as wax will make the painting sensitive to heat and cold but the strange cathedral candle look you get with this is just not achievable with mere glazes.
Of late I have been using gold on the side of my wood panels to create a certain effect of light on my usually very dark paintings. Darkness and light are mutually attractive, in all senses. Visually, they can create dramatic effects. Gilding was used in religious works of art in many cultures over the course of history, a symbolism I find myself drawn to.
Here are the tools I use :
Imitation gold is what is best for this project. More on this further on.
the pounce bag is just calcium carbonate wrapped in a piece of rag. I put it over my hands and the scissors to prevent the gold from sticking to them and make a mess (more so than it already is, I mean).
The size is a glue of sorts, to which the gold will adhere. The turps are there to clean the brush after applying said size to the painting. It will kill your brush if you don’t. If you’re using the 15 mn japan gold size W&N makes, you have to wash it straight away. Here I am using a 3 hour size, meaning that it will reach the right tackiness for applying gold about 3 hours after application. Weather and humidity affect this time a fair bit though, so I test is with the back of my finger to make sure.
I cut the strips I need using the protective paper on both sides, so as for the gold not to tear or fly away. Real leaf is too fragile for this and will stick to EVERYTHING, but imitation is fine.
gold is laid down with a squirrel mop brush preferably, but any brush with long soft hair will do. Sometimes I just use my hands.
Once all the edges are covered and the gold pressed on with the brush, I start moping out all the bits that aren’t supposed to stay. This is the fun part, where things really take shape and gold flies everywhere. I try to do it over a big sheet of paper I can then use to retrieve the loose bits. Here the difference between real gold and imitation becomes very apparent : gold sticks to the finest brush marks, and adheres everywhere in a cohesive way; imitation is much less reliable and has a will of its own - which is what I am after for a ragged effect.
in the little box is a mix of copper and gold leftovers. I use it for certain effects.
it’s done! :
Of course I don’t need to be very careful for this look. Using real gold in a controlled way requires incredible care and patience, and is another story entirely. A post for another day :)