My mom called me from the local summer flea market trying to explain what she thought was a great find. I couldn’t really picture it so I got in my car and drove over. What I found was a dealer selling all kinds of belly dancer belts for $5.. It just seemed like a lot of work for only $5. I bought a few and stashed them away not really sure what to do with them.
One day I pulled this gold one out and decided to try and engineer it to stay on her shoulders. I remember shooting this and how many different images we created that day just by tweaking her accessories. With the same makeup and hair we even shot bridal that day.
The background is a 4×8 Styrofoam board. I painted it like a modern painting with my trowel using glossy house paints. I would buy opps paints (customer rejects) from Home DePot for $5. a gallon. I pretty much use my trowel for everything I paint, it covers a lot of territory quickly.
When the paint was still tacky I laid composition gold leaf foil squares onto the paint. The paint acts like a glue and sticks great. Once the paint is dry I take a dry soft cloth and buff it. Where ever the paint is too dry it won’t stick. I’ve seen some studio walls done in leaf and I think they’re spectacular.
Years ago while in Italy studying decorative painting I picked up a box of 1000 sheets for about $7. Needless to say my luggage was quite heavy coming back as I bought several thousand sheets.
You normally use something called gilding size to glue the sheets down. It’s just another name for glue. It comes in water and oil based. The oil based comes in different drying times for doing very time consuming projects. If you don’t put some type of clear coat over the leaf when you’re done it will tarnish. Where ever you touch it with your fingers will show up over time as dark spots from the oil in your fingers, so try not to touch the surface while working on it.
Because the sheets are so thin it picks up any texture beneath it including the texture of the glue application. But for these purposes it really doesn’t matter how smooth the application is. It definitely takes some practice getting it onto the surface.
They do sell it attached to a tissue paper versus loose that is called transfer (patent) leaf. If I’m working on a project that is critical, like fine furniture, I will transfer my loose sheets onto wax paper and then apply it. If you’re going to purchase leaf I would get the transfer. Stores normally stock the loose only, so you might have to mail order it. It just never ends…just sayin0 comments