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A visual catalog of my adventures

Gilding in Depth

The big thing I'm learning with this project is that master techniques really take forEVER. Pretty much all I accomplished this week was painting on some red bole (to go under my gilding) and starting the smallest bit of painting. I haven't even gotten to the egg tempera yet. I just did a base layer in gouache (kind of between watercolor and acrylic). I talked a little bit about what bole is last week, but this week I'll explain the whole process of applying it to a painting. As you can see here, bole is applied in very thin layers so that you can get an even coat of it. The first layer is mostly water and rabbit skin glue with only a small bit of pigment so that you can see where you've app

Gilding and Housing

Today I mostly just did detail work on my master copy in preparation for adding the gilding next week. I added a few more ground layers to the frame and dividers to ensure that it will provide enough cushion to my guiding when I burnish (rub it really hard so that it gets really shiny). Between the ground layer and the gold leaf, there is another layer called bole. It's a red clay that adds cushion as well as giving your gold leaf warm undertones. Or should I say usually warm undertones. During the Renaissance, red bole was most common, but now people use all sorts of bole - yellow, black, blue, and even green. To the right you can see how the bole looks before it's covered in gilding. Even

Renaissance Image Transfer

Apologies for not posting last week! I had to study for midterms, so I didn't have time to write. However, that means that this week you get TWO posts so I can catch you up. Let's start with a little history lesson. During the Renaissance, artists were working though a Humanistic lens. Humanism was a movement defined by interest in looking back to Greek and Roman thought, the pursuit for secular knowledge, and emphasis on the individual. Even though Humanists were coming around to secular knowledge, they were still very religious. So in order to reconcile their conflicting beliefs, they saw beautiful, mathematically perfect art as a way to convene with God. This is why Renaissance art emphas

Frame Reconstruction

Don't worry Mom, this is NOT a line of cocaine! It's just dust from sanding my wood panel for my master copy. Apologies to all of the kids my own age who thought that this blog would be exciting, because today we're talking about Renaissance style sanding, putting frames back together, and... Q-tips? That's right folks, Q-tips. Nothing but quality content here. Before sandpaper was invented, the ground layer was smoothed by scraping a knife over the surface. Sometimes if the ground layer still needed smoothing after being scraped, it would be smoothed further with shark skin which acted as a fine grit sandpaper. Frames and other decorations were usually added on and gessoed together with the

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