Gilding on Paintings
Featured Articles on Gilding
Poliment—also known as bole—is a clay-like substance that is used as a base for gilding. It is applied to a prepared surface, usually gesso or chalk ground. Gold or silver leaf is then applied over this base. The poliment enhances the tone and lustre of the gold during the polishing/burnishing process. Selhamin Poliment is a specially prepared and refined bole for priming surfaces for gilding. The best raw materials are combined in the right proportions and processed according to traditional methods. Selhamin Poliment Clay shows its special abilities in gilding with gold, white gold, silver and platinum. Especially appreciated are its characteristics in applying silver and gold leaf on surface for contemporary and traditional techniques. The richness of color nuances that can be obtained is a delight for artists. This article explains how to prepare and apply poliment and describes the gilding and toning and patina of gilded surfaces.
This tutorial describes how to prepare and apply base for gilding, and how to apply the gold leaf and burnish the gold. This tutorial includes working with dry powder or cone bole, such as Selhamin Poliment or wet paste bole, such as Charbonnel Gilder's Clay Base.
Here are some gilding tips and tricks that can save you lots of time and trouble. Most of these tips are directly applicable to gilding on parchment, but many readily apply to gilding on paintings.
Gilding is an art that requires dexterity, savoir-faire and skill, qualities that craftsmen obtain after years of experience. There are two basic techniques in applying gold or metal leaf to surfaces: oil and water gilding. Both techniques employ a glue to adhere the leaf to the substrate, but the difference lies in the type of glue. This technique uses a water-based glue or size.
In icon painting this divine gold is used in a special way. It is gold hatching; a technique of creating fine lines in gold over painted areas of an icon painting. It never looks like solid gold; it resembles, rather, an unearthly, airy cobweb of fine rays emitted by God and lighting everything around. When it appears in an icon, God is always suggested as its source. However, in the presence of divine illumination gold hatching often glorifies also the part of the scene that has already entered divine life and is seen as touching it very closely. For instance, it covers the throne and the brilliant robe of the glorified Christ, and the mantle of the Virgin as she ascends to heaven. Angel wings and the tops of paradisiacal trees are often touched with it. In some icons, gold hatching appears on the pointed domes of churches, never covering them, but making them glitter with rays. The ethereal quality of the rays of gold give the surface of the icon the appearance of live, glowing, moving