Gold Imprimatura Experiment

Posted on May 10, 2018

So, I’m thinking about imprimatura today, which is the practice of laying a neutral ground (usually a burnt umber or some other warm mid-tone) on which you go straight to a grisaille to build the forms with contrasting light and dark on top. It occurs to me that I’ve never seen anyone do this on gold. Can I not make gold my neutral ground?! Has this ever been done? Does it fail miserably? I have decided to do a self-portrait sketch first using a mirror (because no other model is so close at hand) and I have discovered that only Bic pen and charcoal stick will stick to gold. Charcoal erases quite easily so, I’ve gone with that. I’d sketch directly with paint but I haven’t got enough time to devote to this today. I’m also building an automatic underground irrigation system for my new vegetable garden, so… priorities.

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