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Messages - Aries M

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Completed/Past Exchanges / Re: Stuck on You Exchange 2022
« on: September 17, 2022, 05:46:07 PM »
Thank you @AnasaziWrites for all your previous post with pictures of our exchanges. Tis no easy feat!

Completed/Past Exchanges / Stuck on You Exchange 2022
« on: September 17, 2022, 05:44:01 PM »
So excited to use up my new selection of stickers! Thank you all for your beautiful envelopes and the fun suprises within them!


@shirley330 (hoping this is the right Shirley- I already deleted the exchange list from my email :-[  )

2022 Exchanges / Re: Secret Santa?
« on: September 13, 2022, 01:35:43 AM »
This sounds like alot of fun! Sign me up! 8)

Maybe run from the last week of November to 3rd week of December? We all know how crazy the post can get at the end of the year.

Flourishing / Re: More Practise
« on: September 02, 2022, 07:04:59 PM »
What a feast for the eyes!

Completed/Past Exchanges / Re: 2022 Flower Power Exchange Results
« on: June 29, 2022, 12:14:47 AM »
Thank you Michael for taking the time to photograph/scan and upload these! I leave them in a stack on my computer desk always with the intent to do so, but allowing to many excuses to impede.

I had a variation for mine. Yours @AnasaziWrites was the odd ball as Id just taken a pointed pen blackletter and was attemtping to make yours less girly :p

Hope you don't mind me using yours @passionforwriting , I need to borrow @AnasaziWrites idea and start sending myself an "exchange" to mark what I send out and for photo shoots!

Thanks again!

Spencerian Script / Re: Practice white on black paper
« on: May 17, 2022, 07:25:13 PM »
Wow Erica! This is goregous!!! Makes me want to learn spencerian even more. There are not enough hours in the day for all these wonderful scripts! Haha

Show & Tell / Re: Love One Another exchange 2022
« on: February 28, 2022, 03:58:30 PM »
Very beautiful and bright! I love the ornate design of the menu! Way to think outside the box on the menus, so many ways you can style it


Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Writing on gold leaf
« on: February 21, 2022, 05:51:39 PM »
The Reddit info concurs with all the tidbits that I have heard over the years.
What jumps out at me is that there is a fair amount of guessing - which is pretty typical in the world of art.
There is never just one way to do anything - and artists can be secretive when they discover things that work.
Experts can be unwilling to share their trade secrets - so up-and-comers often have to figure things out on their own.

Thankfully, you have a test panel - and hopefully, you will figure out something that works --
my most emphatic suggestion is to be very upfront with the artist that you have never done this before
and you can't really guarantee the outcome.

It is concerning that she might not understand the difficulty of getting anything to stick to gold leaf.
If you spend any amount of time trying to find something that works - but you don't really come up with anything --
what is she going to do? You can't be responsible for the outcome - when she did not research the lettering part of her project until the last minute.

I know this sounds pessimistic -- but it comes from a place where I had learning experiences - taking on jobs using materials for the first time and not having a very good outcome. Through a couple difficult jobs, I learned to educate the client and prepare them for the possibility of Plan B.

Plan B in this case would be to do the lettering on paper, gild around it, and adhere it to the paintings. I'm sure that would not be acceptable to the client - but you can't guarantee ahead of time that you know you can get your lettering to stick. What if you do a beautiful job and then it starts flaking off next year? For your own peace of mind -- I think you need to discuss with the client that you are willing to figure something out -- but you really can't make any guarantee about the longevity.

I have no idea if gouache and egg yolk will mix. My recollection is that the egg yolk is mixed with pure pigments - and possibly other ingredients.
I've used glair and it worked -- but never on a gilded surface.

Metal nib - it might work - if the fluid wants to flow and you don't have to press down very hard. A quill might be perfect -- but, unless you have been cutting quills for a while - you might not have time to learn that. The fluid beading up on the metal is probably going to be the hardest part.

Hopefully - you will figure this out and have a wonderful new technique to offer for future projects. Keep track of how many hours you spend on your research, etc. You might not bill all those hours - but it's good to know. Maybe discuss it with the client.

Sorry for the delayed response, my sons birthday was Friday and it turned into a weekend long celebration. Like I said I was excited to hear your thoughts on the matter and potential foreseen issues to talk with Anne about! :) Not pessimistic, more like realistic. It definitely was enlightening, and I felt it gave me a little more confidence to point out the possible pitfalls in this project.

We met this weekend and she is a really lovely and kind lady. She has been doing her own research and realizes the ask is no easy feat. That said there were alot of things she was willing to bend on if needed (like varnishing/treating the gold leaf to if I can't find an ink or paint mixture that will adhere and not immediately crack or flake after drying).  She was also very gracious in knowing its very possible they may flake or crack years from now, but it is what it is.

She hasn't gold leafed all the panels and is giving me time to practice & test in case we end up going a much (much) more tedious route. And she is aware that she'd be responsible for that work, I am solely working on the lettering of the project and that's it. I am not an expert in gold leaf so I wouldn't want to be responsible for that.

I do have a gold leaf panel to practice on and I plan on doing a swash test with the inks I already have on hand. And if nothing sticks (pun intended ;)  ) I'll branch out from there. I plan on starting with a metal nib and if that looks like its tearing at the leaf then I'll try a brush as you suggested. I know nothing about carving quills and as much as I love trying to new things.. all things in moderation  :P

I'll post an update on how testing goes :)

Thank you again for the help!

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Writing on gold leaf
« on: February 19, 2022, 12:56:53 AM »
Found this photo snippet from John Stevens. Looks gorgeous! You could pop him a message.

Working out this writing on gold leaf thing

Oh, and it's possible this is written with a brush, but it looks like broad edge.

So clean! I may try reaching out after I have a better idea on supplies and some of the things Jean pointed out!

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Writing on gold leaf
« on: February 19, 2022, 12:53:42 AM »
Here is another. I don't know her. Ann Bowen

I saw some of her pieces on pintrest and the website link wouldnt work! Thank you for posting this link!!

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Writing on gold leaf
« on: February 17, 2022, 05:14:44 PM »
Ah yes! The egg tempura! I remember that now. Such great members here always ready and willing to give advice!  :)

I wont lie, after the excitment of her picking me wore off (we had a calligraphy guild participate in a gallery show which is where she saw my work), the next wave of giddiness was sharing here and picking the great flourish emporium of calligrahy minds  ;D

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Writing on gold leaf
« on: February 17, 2022, 05:09:00 PM »
@Aries M - I hope she is providing you with an appropriate piece of material to practice on.
I would want it to be a board, with the exact same layers - and large enough to write the same size lettering you will do on the finished pieces.
Ideally, you would be able to write all 12 names at least once - on a practice panel.

I'm guessing that egg tempera would be the way to go -- from a historical perspective - that sounds like what's been used. As my painting guru said when he was trying to convince me to learn how to work in egg tempera -- "Egg sticks to everything and it never comes off. Haven't you ever tried to wash dried egg off a plate?" There will be a learning curve - but, when it comes to doing the finished pieces -- it would be so tedious to gild around lettering.

If you do find someone who can give you tips on the egg tempera option - be sure to ask if there will be any way to do any minor touch up.

Jean Im so glad you replied! I considered tagging you in my original post but didn't want to get to crazy. I read all your names and suggestions in other post and it makes me feel like I already know you! Then I remeber we're calligra-strangers on the internet 😂😂

She does have a practixe panel of the same size, paint, gold leaf & finish of what her the final product would be. Shes also including extra gold leaf & proper size to practice corrections. Ill be picking up this Sunday as well as looking over the text she has for the rest of the portaits.

Egg tempera... is this mixing ink with egg yolks??? I metioned a reddit thread I found in a precious post. The account has since been deleted but Ill post a screen shot of the reply was. They also mentioned rotten size but I wonder if that had more to do with the gold leaf... Ill be digging deep into this one as Im pretty sure shes already gold leafed all the panels already which would mean no going back.. and also less tedious than trying to gild around all the text. (Each portait has 2 panels with either a quote or a sentece about the subjects contributions.

Thank you for the wealth of knowledge. I am incredibly thankful to all you for taking the time to respond <3

I have a calligraphy guild meeting tonight and I plan to pose the same question there (as well as some of the suggestions you all have given me here). Perhaps someone there will be familiar with the egg tempera.

Thanks again!

Heres that reddit snippet.

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Writing on gold leaf
« on: February 17, 2022, 04:36:23 PM »
What an amazing project, @Aries M ! It reminds me of religious icons like found in the orthodox christian traditions. I have seen many icons in churches in Crete that involved backgrounds of gold leaf with lettering / calligraphy on top of it. That is very different from the technique of first applying the gold base like done in Western christian manuscripts for initials (like others said). But this is usually done for one, often big and elaborate initial, not for bigger amounts of text. I donít know how the calligraphy is applied on the gold in the case of the Greek or Russian icons, but I am pretty sure it is done after laying the gold.

In the German section about icons on Wikipedia I also found this technical order: 1) Choosing and preparing the wood, 2) Applying a base on the wood so that it can take colour and / or gold leaf, 3) Drawing of the outlines, 4) Gilding of the parts that should be gold, 5) Painting of the icon, 5) Applying of details etc., lettering on gold or colour, 6) Varnishing the icon.

There were more steps involved, but that is the basic sequence. There are still today icons made in the traditional technique. Sadly, I donít know and a quick search hasnít told me how the lettering on gold is done exactly. I suspect oil or tempera paint with a brush (so that the gold is not destroyed with a hard writing tool).

I guess getting in touch with a Greek or other Orthodox icon painter would answer this fascinating question best Ö

I found this lady on IG:

She has some examples of writing on gold, and she mentions using egg tempera. Maybe scroll through her feed to find out something!

Wow her work is incredible! Ive been scrolling through all morning but Ill have to take another pass just to collect the information shes spread through out!

Thank you for all this knowledge! Its the first Ive seen or read about the applying the guilding first. It does seem to only be around the icon but maybe thats just my very untrained eyed!  :P I didnt even think about using a brush for the calligraphy until you mentioned it but Ive been wondering how well the gold leaf would hold up against a metal nib :/ I found a thread on reddit from 7 years ago on this exact subject but unfortuntely, they didnt expand on what happened after they finished the project.
Thank you for your thorough reply!!!!


Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Writing on gold leaf
« on: February 16, 2022, 03:13:10 PM »
What a beautiful set of portraits, @Aries M - they're really going to glow when they're finished!

For lettering against a gold leaf background, I would recommend applying the text before applying the gold leaf, and then carefully apply the size around each letter.  That's the traditional order of operations, and it's more durable, because the ink doesn't have to adhere to a slippery metal surface:

--yours truly, K

Arent they amazing!? Anne is an incredibly talented artist!
Thank you K for the input. This was my initiate thought too, calligraphy first & gold leaf around it makes the most sense. Ill have to check with her this weekend and see if shes already done them all. However the panels are painted birch wood so Im not sure how much easier that'll be texture wise! 😋

Thank you for the link!


Tools & Supplies / Re: lining templates
« on: February 16, 2022, 11:54:28 AM »
Ive heard great things about Paul Antonios lining template.. but I haven't found any where, recently, to get one.

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