I really wanted to use gold leaf for Ziggy's gold circle on his forehead on my 'The Starman" painting. I wanted small flecks of gold leaf to travel through the faces either side of Ziggy.
So I did a bit of digging, watched a couple of YouTube videos (what did we do before google and YouTube!?).
I read a really informative article on Jackson's Art website also.
It is easier to apply the gold leaf before painting with oils as I would have had to have waited for the paint to full dry and I'm too impatient for that :) It seemed the best way for me would be to apply it before the oil stage but after I paint my background. I like to use acrylic for my backgrounds as I really like the contrast between the oil and the acrylic.
Gold leaf needs a special sort of glue called 'size'. It doesn't come in strengths
It comes in different times, I know that sounds weird but it does! The time stated on the size gives you the time window you have to work on the area. The size is applied to the canvas and left until it becomes tacky.
I chose the 3 hour size which basically means that it will become tacky within 3 hours of applying.
I chose the transfer sheets rather than the loose gold leaf as it was said to be easier to use.
I applied the size with a small synthetic paint brush and left it to do its thing...
If you have a look at the image bellow you will be ale to see where the glue is. I gently tapped onto the glue to check if it was tacky.
I think I only waited about an hour and half and it was ready to go!
A word of caution whilst using this glue/size. The glue is a solvent and it smells really strong. Make sure you have the windows open and only use it in a well ventilated room.
I also had to get my husband to take the lid off. That sounds like I'm a total girl and can't open lids but it was genuinely really difficult. It has a metal plug in the top of the container which you have to prise out somehow without the size going everywhere! I am extremely clumsy so my husband dealt with that one 😂
After you have managed to get through all this you are ready to apply the gold leaf sheets. Just gently press them on and use a fluffy mop style paint brush to get rid of the excess.
Look at that shiny goodness!!
So happy with how this turned out. I definitely want to experiment a lot more with gold leaf.
As always let me know if this is helpful (or not) and if you want more tutorials like this.
Thanks for reading,