The first of several small videos. This first video shows the Liquid Gesso in the application process. I use a dip pen for lettering as well as a ruling pen for filling in areas. Puddling is the answer for moving the gesso around to fill in the area you are covering. Depending on the pen you are using a drop of glair can be used to dilute the gesso if a better flow is necessary. Never use water. Water will corrupt the foundation of the gesso and make it weaker. Glair is an external adhesive. Although hide glue was used in the original mix of Cenninis formula, the weight of Gold was heavier, requiring an additional size. This would insure that the Gold would stick to the surface of the gesso.
Use an Agate only. Once you move into the gilding stage, i would wait a minimum of 24 hours before attempting to burnish directly.
Always work through a glassine first. This will protect the gilded object. Remember, the gesso as well as any size that requires drying are like turtles. A hard outside shell but a soft inside body. Err on the side of caution as the gilded item may not be as dry as you think it is.
PUDDLING THE GESSO & THE ILLUMINATORS BOLE
The application stage of raised gilding is the most critical. Here we have an opportunity to FIX. In many instances the gesso can dry with blemishes. The reasons are complicated. But the face of the gesso as the water evaporates creates small facial scars, concavities and other unsightly marks that have to be dealt with. If we decide not to do anything but apply the gold, then the gilded object will look even worse.
One solution and there are several in this stage is to polish the gesso. This will accomplish several things. The most obvious is that some of these marks can be polished out. This is done by using a lipsitck shaped burnisher and applying pressure to the face of the gessoed area. Rubbing the gesso's surface with careful force will produce results, and skillfully employed will make the face of the gesso look like a sheet of glass.
The coloration of the gesso changes from a matte appearance to a gloss appearance . The object is to provide a mirror image on the face of the gesso with the least amount of blemishes, marks or small abrasions.
Once you are satisfied and feel that this is the best that you can achieve, then the application process moves into the gilding process. What you see in the final stage of the application porcess is what you will get once the gold has been applied. We are now into the burnishing stage and now the burnisher can finish the job as the foundation has already set. We just have to concen ourselves in making sure that the gilded object is completely dry .
I always prefer to wait at least 24 hours after applying gold to insure that no water moisture resides in the covered gesso which is now gilded. This next process of burnishing can be accomplished with a lipstick shaped Agate or a Hematite burnisher (which is sold in a lipstick shape.) Some words of caution if using a Hematite burnisher.
POLISHING THE GESSO WITH AN AGATE BURNISHER
VIDEO UNDER CONSTRUCTION
(Titanium dioxide /slaked plaster base) Is kept in a liquid solution and ready to use. Just stir and apply as directed. When not in use refrigerate. When ready to reconstitute, allow it to sit at room temperature about 15 minutes, stir and its ready to be applied. Works best with a pointed nib, ruling pen or diluted with glair for a dip pen.