I have just started another icon of St Katherine, based on the icon from Mt Siniai. This is much earlier than the more famous one & will have scenes of her life & martyrdom around a standing figure of the Saint. So far I've spent four days getting the board ready to gild, from drawing, sanding, applying bole & then tidying up and polishing the final layers of clay, which cushion the gold leaf & keep it stick on the board. I can't wait to get started painting next week! Tomorrow I will post photographs of my latest completed commission & am planning a post on why icons … [Read more...]

Beneath the gilding: what happens to a board.

Today I began preparing two new boards: well, these are boards that had 'issues' so this is their second chance! They had already been coated with two layers of hot rabbit skin glue or size which is without a doubt the best adhesive for an icon. After making up a batch of size (27g granules:400g water (1:15) left to soak for several hours then heated), I soak the linen scrim in the pan for ten to fifteen minutes. You can see how soft this is: I buy pre washed & hemmed window cleaners scrim, which is lovely and drapey. In it goes. Once the fibres have softened & expanded with the … [Read more...]