Experiments with gold paint pigment

After I finds out gold pigment for oil painting by Schmincke Oil Bronzed, I need to try them and test them. I got several wood sign boards from local crafts store and try to paint something that is simple and straightforward. I want to test out the gold pigment only. I don’t want too many colors get involved. So I choose the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs.

The idea is to apply black gesso on board first and then paint with gold color directly on it. However, after several testing projects, I realize that it needs more steps before I can enjoy my gold pigment. So the revised SOP is as follows,

  • Prepare the wood surface with Shellac.
  • Apply black gesso on the target painting area.
  • Apply background color with acrylic paint .
  • Transfer sketch drawing on to board.
  • Enhance the drawing with acrylic paint that is close to background color.
  • Once it is dry, clean the surface with linseed oil as “oiling out”. This step will remove all unwanted charcoal trace caused by transferring.
  • Wait until the surface is touch dry.
  • Paint with gold pigment.
  • Wait until the surface is touch dry again and do another “oiling out” instead of applying varnish. (Varnish will dim the shine of the gold pigment)

Testing #1 Ancient Egyptian mural

This one no longer exists due to varnish. It dissolved the gold pigment. But you can see the general idea here and also the shine of the pigment.

Testing #2 Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs

Luckily the same varnish didn’t ruin this one.

Testing #3 Moon

Testing #2 and #3 are very similar. The varnish didn’t dissolve the pigment but dim the shine of the gold color. It still looks like metallic paint. When you look closely, you can still tell that it is metallic gold color, but no more shiny gold leaf feeling.

After testing #3 I made two mandala paintings on square boards with gold pigment. They are still drying and I am not sure if I want to put any varnish on them. (Theoretically they should be protected by varnish to prevent tarnish.)

Overall, I love this gold pigment. I now have two shades of them. I mix them to make the color I like. It is also the reason I paint the black cat “Apprentice”.

Apprentice 16″×20″ Oil on canvas

I haven’t list the mandala and black cat paintings yet but will do so once they are ready.

I hope you find this experiment helpful. 😀

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My paintings are an outlet to express the imagination I have inside my head that I can not put into words. After trying many mediums, I always find myself coming back to paint and brushes. In my current artistic practice, I use oil paint and mainly create portraits of mythical creatures and animals transfixed in the shifting colours of seascapes and landscapes. There is a natural spirit and magic to these creatures and their energy draws me in. Choosing to paint these creatures as real living wildlife rather than abstractions, I use bold and vivid colours to express the imaginary intertwined with reality, finding magic between the seams. Using a saturated colour palette, I create bold and striking imagery, contrasted between foreground and background, subject and landscape, and light and darkness. Weaving their bodies and the surface of the landscape into each other through organic forms and flowing brush strokes, I find beauty, strength and innocence in these creatures that reflect my inner world.