© Jina Gelder and Jina Gelder Illustration. All Image Rights Reserved

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  • Jina Gelder

Gold! Always Believe in….

My grandad used to be a painter and decorator, he’s 90 years old and amazing. Recently he helped me decorate my son’s bedroom with a funky jungle wallpaper. When I started my business he gave me a lot of his old decorating materials including his enamelling and gilding tools. I’ve wanted to experiment with gold leaf since then but, as usual, time just ran away from me.

I’ll be honest it wasn’t all straightforward. I accidentally bought the wrong gold size for my first set of bee’s and then had to very carefully paint over the mistakes with the new acrylic based size when it arrived. For all of you who may wish to give gilding a go, you need acrylic based size when working on paper. Once I had bought the right stuff I dived right in and painted some designs based on sketches of lavender from my sketchbook. I chose bees as my initial subjects as something quick and fun and I was really pleased with the results. Even better was my customers seemed to really like them too!


I then progressed to doing miniature originals with full gold backgrounds and then some with a more splattered effect. I preferred the latter but some customers like the full gold so I’ve kept doing a combination of the two. One thing about the gold leaf process is it is so addictive! I have to stop myself from applying it to every single painting.



I am so pleased I gave it a go and I have many more new ideas for using gold leaf but also combining it with another ‘mad’ idea I have… painting on wood. I currently have a large sketch of a peacock on my dining table and I am intending on doing that background gold too. Watch this space!