This is getting long enough that I am to a point I am having to go back and read the blog to know what I have already put up! LOL! That's not good...... ;-)
On the other hand, it gives you an idea of why these pieces take me so darned long to do.....
The live oak leaves above had been coated with the following:
Golden Acrylic Glaze, Golden Soft Gel medium, and a bit of fluid acrylic was put on to enhance the color. I do not know long term if they will stay as is or brown. I figure to err on the side of safety.
At any rate, I still found them a little blah, so I got out my DecoArt Crackle Medium and coated all of them with that. The leaves on the left are just with the medium after it dried and the ones on the right have a thin layer of raw umber glazed on, worked into the crackle and wiped off.
This close up shows it better. Depending on what you want or need, one could stop at any of the points along the way with the leaves. I just felt since this is a piece about age, the darker leaf would be more evocative of that feel. I can definitely see uses for the leaf on the left, with the addition of a light color to seep into the crevices. It would be totally different. I think it's pretty obvious I love experimenting with these things......!
One thing to check if you try this; make sure the color has dried before proceeding. It doesn't take long. Otherwise you will either stick to the leaf or lose part of the color. (don't ask...)
Each leaf was coated heavily on the back with Golden Heavy Gel in a matte finish. Since the leaves are not flat, the medium fills in the space between the leaf and canvas. Generally I would have more than I needed on the leaf.....
.....Start by spreading some with a palette knife to the edges and add until it appears the whole cavity is full.
One other thing I want to point out, and sorry this is out of order; the corners with the paperclay fleurs were painted with a soft black, dry brushed into the texture of the grit and gel. When it was dry, I used a bright aqua-blue, getting a tiny bit on a brush and just allowing it to sweep over the very top of the textured ground. This combination of color works well in other projects too, but is particularly suitable for the work at hand. The photo below shows the corner treatment a bit better.
Some of the leaves were determined NOT to stick down, so a few stray paint bottles solved the problem. In areas where the medium oozed out, I used a damp brush to remove excess and smooth all the exposed edges, such as the visible area under the small Golden jar. These will be painted later to disappear. You also can see an acorn half I have inserted under one of the leaves; it was luck that one leaf was greatly curled and wrapped the acorn perfectly.
Remember me saying that with St. Louis Cathedral being offset from the center of the circle I was going to have to adjust a few things? That came in the addition of the small oak twig, to circle the top and push the focal point more to the left, where the building is. The twig was coated with several brushings of soft gloss gel, gently cracked to hold the shape and coated again. I added a few highlights of paint to it as well.
And now I have to take a break. I think I am writing a book here---I had no idea, really, when I started posting the step by step what I was getting in for! Bear with me on the off days when there is not a new post; these are truly more time consuming than they might appear!
I must add it is interesting to analyse my own work by having to describe what I usually just *do*. I did not realize I put that much thought and effort into small details. It is something I do pretty much by rote; I don't think about it, I do make decisions but mostly I trust my eye and obviously there is a portion of my brain cranking away to make all the right connections. Each piece has it's own story.
Oh dear...I sound pretty pretentious now.
But y'all know me better than that, yes?
Now go create something wonderful and in a day or two, I'll be back with more of my favorite city!