Sunday, April 29, 2007

Silver Mirror

I painted this mirror frame last week, but didn't get very good photos of it during the process, so let's just cut to the chase, and show the final touch: applying the silver leaf.
The background on the frame is painted in shades of metallic silver, and the leaves and flowers , being non metallic, stand out sharply. It is a nice effect.

Silver leaf in very, very thin sheets is applied to a sticky surface, sometimes I use the traditional terracotta ground, which seems to add to the depth and brilliance of the leaf.
After it has set a while, the excess leaf is gently brushed away, with a soft brush. Too much brushing or too harsh a brush can scratch the silver, even right through.

I used many coats of solvent based varnish to give all the silver
an amber tint, and it makes the whole piece look aged and mysterious.

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