I have been working on a series of nude paintings from live models for about a year now and at some point I was reading International Artist magazine and came across an artist using gold leaf as a medium in his paintings. Well immediately I was going to do this. My own way, of course. So as usual without experimenting, (my way of doing things) I decided to do an entire series out of it. I started adding the leaf to all of the paintings and doing something different with each one. The series is to be exhibited in the Artists' Guild Gallery at the Spartanburg Museum of Art in April of 2011. This was the "let's see what we can do with it" piece. As you can see, the mind changes dramatically as the creative process evolves.
I'm working with gold, copper, and silver leaf in my oil painting process. Placing the leaf on the canvas and using reverse finger painting technique by lifting the light out of the paint. Here, I'm gilding the leaf before I apply the paint. The medium is rather hard to work with as the leaves are as light as ash and can be blown out of your hand by as little movement as someone walking past you. There is no room for mistakes because once you apply the leaf to the surface there's no moving it. You have to work with cotton gloves and powder on your fingers so the leaf doesn't stick to your skin or tarnish. I'm working on several other applications with this medium and will post updates as they progress. Check out the video process at http://www.vimeo.com/14940354
So here is the first draft of what I thought was going to be an OK painting. As you can see, I changed directions several times before coming to terms with what I wanted.
So then I decided it would be more affective as a reverse shot, which of course required another session.
So then I added a breakaway effect to mix up the separation. And added fragments of silver leaf in the side ground. Which would be followed by fragments over the body to give it a 3-dimensional feel.
Finally, I added overlaps of silver leaf to give it that "over the top" feel. In my mind, this was the "throw away piece". It turned out just fine. In fact, it might be the best one of the series.