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Shiney Fun: Gold Leafing

painting made with copper leaf

"Declaration" by Rebecca Chaperon 2011

Gold leaf has a historic place in painting as it was often used in painting icons and illumiated manuscripts. The reflective quality flashes as you move your position to look at it. Though some people still use actual gold leaf most artists use a composite metal that looks gold. You can also purchase metal leaf in composite silver, real silver and copper. In my painting above I used copper leaf to create the text.


Using metal leaf creates a rich glow that is hard to simulate with metallic paint. This process can be used on 2-d and 3-d art pieces.


1. Apply adhesive to area that you want to apply metal leaf to. Adhesive is available in spray can, liquid form and you can find some pen type applicators on the market. Try to apply in a very thin coat of the adhesive to minimize brush-strokes otherwise they will show through the metal leaf. 


liquid adhesive for gold leaf
2. Wait for adhesive to dry to a tacky state.


3. Apply metal leaf and smooth it down over the area where the adhesive has been applied.


4. Apply sealer.


Here's a video that shows how simple this process is ! : 



Image source [1]

Image source [2]

Video source [3]

About the author

Artist in residence Rebecca Chaperon

Rebecca Chaperon is our Artist-in-Residence

With a compulsion to create unique visual stories, her paintings often follow the thread of a heroine's misadventures through a surreal landscape.

She's had the pleasure of teaching at Langara College and given community workshops on painting techniques with an emphasis on watercolour, oil and acrylic. She is a board member at the Grunt gallery.

View her online portfolio

Read more of Rebecca's posts

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