I have just finished my first attempt at painting on a new substrate for me, 22 karat gold leaf. I start with a birch panel, apply four coats of traditional gesso, sanding to a smooth surface. I then applied sheets of gold leaf VERY carefully with a special adhesive. It is imperative to not handle the gold and so after the adhesive is set I protect the gold with shellac. Shellac is a resin secreted by the female lac bug who reside in India and Thailand. It is getting a bit difficult to locate but still available. Once that is dry I could begin painting on this unfamiliar, smooth surface.
If you are wondering why I am choosing such a costly substrate I do have a very good reason which goes to my world view and I am happy to share but only to those interested. The effect is much more beautiful in real life but I wanted to share this with you today. I hope to push my technique for some time.
Early Memory 16X16" Oil on Gold Leaf