Sunday, April 26, 2009

Perfection and Necrophilia 1

A good day! Yesterday was remarkably negative and I attribute that to waking up at 6:30am to catch the bus and a cascade of other tiny and ultimately insignificant events that seemed important at the time.

Today however was excellent. I'm working on a detailed half size study for Perfection and Necrophilia. The gold leafing worked just fine second time around and I regret buying some of the "transfer" sort of gold because I'm now more confident and comfortable with the loose leaf stuff.

The problem was down to the fact that the size (the glue) can go off in the container easily; because it's essentially a drying oil with driers added to speed things up. Artists who want to gild finely on a painting or icon then need to know a few golden rules; first get a slow drying size and keep it in a small bottle, apply it carefully and very evenly like a smooth watercolour wash, and finally gild first; before any other paint so you can paint over the top to smooth out the inevitable rough edges. It's nigh on impossible not to get rough edges. I'm still uncertain how those ultra-fine rays of gold you see emanating from doves and halos on old masterworks were painted. Perhaps they are finer and more perfect in my head than in reality; or perhaps I'm simply not experienced enough to work it out.

This half size study will take two days and easily be worth it. After that I'll start the underpainting to a small and fun picture called There's A Lot To Be Said For Hormones. I'll post pictures of that one on here but for now I will keep P&N a secret.

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