Recently, with the painting of Apollon’s departure to Hyperborea, I have experimented with applying gold leaf to paintings of divine imagery. Though I probably wouldn’t add it to *every* painting that I do of the gods, I do find that it provides an interesting component. In this case I used gold leaf as the center of the sun just behind Apollon’s head forming a kind of divine halo (though a little too low set to really look like a halo), as well as using fleck of it in his eyes and in a few of the stars around him, not to mention that the heart of his torch is created from goldleaf and an accent on his lyre. Does this mean I plan to get carried away with this? No.
I have no real interest to make a polytheistic version of Byzantium art in which everything holy was accented in gold leaf. Though I think the look is pretty, I don’t think it is really necessary in all cases. I do want to try a portrait painting of Apollon with gold leafing for his hair and have a few other ideas (like doing a gold aura around Zagreus in the painting I am working on with him together with the Titans) but what I plan is rather minimal usage of gold leafing. Or if I do use it in other works it will probably be very minimal accent that is not so plainly apparent as it is in this Apollon painting.
In conclusion goldleafing on the painting has been successful, but should be used moderately in my work. That said it gives a new detail in commissions that is available so that if people want an image of their deity with goldleafing applied I am confident that I can apply it effectively. A friend of mine uses it another way that I have yet to try in which she mixes the goldleaf crumbs in with her paint. It would be interesting to experiment and see how that would give some vibrancy to some god’s royal robes! Maybe when I get around to painting Hera I will try that!