The sophistication of gold leaf in oil painting with 5 easy steps has added value over artworks throughout history. The use of gold leaf in oil painting, together with other painting media has been widely spread and embraced by most artists. On this article, we will teach you how to add some gold leaf on your painting for a more stunning look.
What are the things you need to remember when adding a gold leaf in oil painting? How can you add a gold leaf on your painting without getting them damage and apply oil paints over them? Do you need to varnish your oil painting after adding some gold leaf?
Adding Gold Leaf In Oil Painting
Since the old times, artists have been using gold leaf to add on their artworks. Not just to add sophistication but to create a unique texture and stunning appearance as well. If you haven’t tried adding a gold leaf in oil painting, then you can do that with this easy tutorial.
Just like adding a gold leaf for watercolors and acrylics, there are also some basic tips for this process. Though sometimes there is a different process in doing so to retain the beauty of a gold leaf. Either you are working with real gold leaf or imitation ones. For beginners, best to use an imitation first to explore and learn the characteristics of this tool.
The real gold leaf is quite expensive than imitation, especially with higher ‘karats’ of gold. On the contrary, there is imitation gold leaf with different colors to experiment with. try a different process and see how they react to your painting.
To give you a brief history of when artist use and add gold leaf to their paintings, that was way back even in the ancient times. They were using real gold leaf and pigments to add to their paintings. It even spread over the world with different culture embracing this process.
The Japanese have mastered with new elements on their artworks. they have stunning ways of adding the elements to an even larger scale of the surface of the painting canvas. Even the famous artists in the Rennaisance period had used and add a gold leaf on their paintings.
There are different ways on how you can add gold in your artworks, not just through paintings but almost on any surface. It is just that the preparation and process differ for every painting surface. To this date, all the painting that have this element can be seen. The thin layers of gold create a shinny glitter-like sparks to your artwork.
There is a different process of how gold leaf was created but surely it is an intricate process to give the best beauty that lasts for a long time. Today, the use of gold leaf in oil painting has been one of the things that oil painters must try on their artworks.
It gives a unique feeling and appearance for your painting. Though there are a different process and especial materials for adding this element. A solvent-based adhesive for gold leaf in oil painting is commonly used.
Factors To Consider When Adding Gold Leaf
Adding gold leaf in oil painting is like visualizing the final image of your artwork. You need to carefully plan everything out to see where and when will you add this element. It allows the artist to even be more creative and enhance their skills and painting technique.
There are different tools to use for gilding. It all differs from the painting medium that every artist uses. However, the idea is almost the same, to add a unique beauty and value to their masterpiece. If you are using oil paints, best to use the solvent-based adhesive. There is a water-based adhesive but it is usually used for acrylic painting.
The process of application will almost be the same, smoothing the surface and waiting for the adhesive to completely dry to keep the gold elements in place. You also need to apply a paint sealant or varnish to your painting surface.
Easy Steps To Add Gold Leaf On Your Oil Painting
There are easy steps on how you can add your gold leaf in oil painting. The most common way is to visualize first your painting surface. Once you have planned your artwork, you can choose an underpainting for your artwork.
Remember that when you are adding a gold leaf on your painting surface, it is best to avoid any possible error to happen as it will not be a great option. That is why careful planning is essential. Use the right color for your underpainting. The ground will help you achieve the best results for your gold leaf application.
Using a yellow, black, and even red color for your ground. These colors are a great option to enhance the beauty of your gold leaf. Applying a base color paint like acrylics will also help you with your painting. if you want to get the best smooth surface for your oil paints, best to apply gesso and sand it over to give a uniquely smooth texture.
If you are working with canvas, best tom always prepares and apply acrylic gesso over to give your oil paints a unique hold on the painting surface. If you wanted a smoother surface, you can also try working with a different painting surface like a panel for a change. Oil paints are also great to apply on a gessoed surface.
Before you apply your gold leaf on your painting surface, best to wait for it to be completely dried. Then once it is dried, you can apply your adhesive to the surface. Brush of the adhesive or the size to the area that you wanted to cover with gold leaf.
Check the tacky of your adhesive or size before adding your gold leaf. Check by touching the top area of your size. If it is stick when touch, then your gold leaf is ready to be added. Diluted the size before applying on your painting surface. This will minimize the absorbency of the size and allow it to be receptive to the painting ground.
It usually takes about 30 minutes before you can achieve the right tack of your size. There are some adhesive or size that stays tacky for 24 hours will others stay tacky until a couple of days.
There are different ways on how you can add a gold leaf in your oil painting. One is to peel off the protective layer of your gold leaf sheets and slowly apply it on the tacky area or surface. Be careful when applying your gold leaf over the designated area.
If you want to add a little pressure to your painting surface for the gold leaf to be attached, then use a cotton ball with vaseline over it. There are different ways on how you can add your gold leaf to the painting surface. But the best way for beginners is to get a transfer material that works perfectly for your gold leaf.
Once you have applied your gold leaf on the sized area, gently brush off the sheet. Start the process of burnishing your gold leaf in oil painting surface and do this in the gentle way possible. All the areas where you add your sizing will be covered with gold.
You can brush off all the excess gold leaf that did not stick into the surface of the painting. You can check the whole area if you have added your gold leaf properly if there are still areas that need fixing, you can add more gold leaf to give great coverage to the adhesive area.