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  • Writer's pictureJamie Oldham

Creating with metal leaf

I wanted to share with you a new technique for me, for sometime I have been working with gold acrylic paint, mainly Gerstaecker Studio Bronze Alt Gold, using it either as the background to a painting, or in the foreground, or in a subtle way, and I enjoyed the freedom that it gave, with it's subtle effects, or bold effects. But I was starting to want to try the real thing, but unsure how to go about it, as I have tried working on gold leaf for a traditional framer, but the technique looked so hard, I never progressed in it, and was put off by the whole process, as the gold is so delicate. But Nancy Reyner’s blog and video dispelled that fear.

So I began with two different pre primed boards by Ampersand, that I bought from Jacksons online art materials store. One is completely smooth, and the other has a slight texture.

So following the video I added two coats of Golden Fluid acrylic, Red Oxide, which gives the look of the traditional red bowl which is used as the surface for gilding.

After they were dried, I used A. S. Handover Acrylic gold size, with a varnish brush (applying a very thin coat to the boards, and after 15 minutes and testing the boards with my finger, (it should have the tackiness of old scotch tape).

I then used Wax paper, I bought on a roll and placed this down on the gold metal leaf by A. S. Handover, and smoothed the wax paper over the leaf with my hand, this generates static where I was then able to lift the paper with both hands and hover it over the area on the board, leaving extra overlap on the edges , I repeated this till the board was covered.

Then with the wax paper over the metal leaf which is now stuck on the board I got a clean soft cloth, and rubbed firmly over the wax paper to buff the metal leaf on the surface.

I then got a small stiff bristle brush, and very gently flicked the excess metal leaf off the boards, taking care not to brush excessively, as even this can leave marks on the soft metal.

Then I waited 3 days and have given the boards two coats of Golden GAC 200, which is a gloss extender. I need to use this because these metal leaf's though looking like gold are made from usually a mix of Copper and Zinc, which will tarnish in the air, and also with acrylic paint, as the paint contains Ammonia. So the two coats of GAC 200 will seal the metal from these things that can corrode.

Now they are ready for next week in the studio.

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