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Stenciling technique for church statue.(looking for help)

 
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Raymond



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:00 pm    Post subject: Stenciling technique for church statue.(looking for help) Reply with quote

Hello stenciling guru! I'm looking for help.I bought life size statue in auction(photo No-2),and I want to restore,repaint and make something nice like in photo No-1 with gold or false gold leaf. Can some body recommend me some stenciling technique how to get ready some think like you can see on photo?Any ideas how to do that?


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lynne



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Raymond!

for this I would not use a stencil - I would make a transfer, maybe a "pounce" with little holes in it- on tissue or parchment, or something flexible. gild the entire skirt, then transfer the design, be sure to stagger it a little to account for folds int he fabric, and paint only the "background" blue color, perhaps with tempera.

you can then sgraffito to clean the edges or make more fine designs in the blue.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lynne wrote:
Hi Raymond!

for this I would not use a stencil - I would make a transfer, maybe a "pounce" with little holes in it- on tissue or parchment, or something flexible. gild the entire skirt, then transfer the design, be sure to stagger it a little to account for folds int he fabric, and paint only the "background" blue color, perhaps with tempera.

you can then sgraffito to clean the edges or make more fine designs in the blue.

Thank lynne for answering.The idea with tissue or something flexible I like,but do you think that statue is done that way?Do you think there can be different way to get ready finish like in photo No-1.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi R~
I am sure there must be other ways to do this. But when I look at the detail in the first image you posted, I see a lot of detail that could be difficult to achieve with a stencil.
I suppose you could stencil the blue on top of the gold, but it is much hard to paint the design on, than it is to scratch the paint off

the first time i saw someone doing sgraffito technique, it was like discovering that round wheels are easier to move than square blocks. LOL

I have since been taking classes to learn how to use this technique in my work, because it is so effective and much easier than any alternatives.

here is a great YouTube video of the technique
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1dj56HW72M

maybe Alison Woolley will give her opinion here- she is very good at this kind of work!

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lynne wrote:
hi R~
I am sure there must be other ways to do this. But when I look at the detail in the first image you posted, I see a lot of detail that could be difficult to achieve with a stencil.
I suppose you could stencil the blue on top of the gold, but it is much hard to paint the design on, than it is to scratch the paint off

the first time i saw someone doing sgraffito technique, it was like discovering that round wheels are easier to move than square blocks. LOL

I have since been taking classes to learn how to use this technique in my work, because it is so effective and much easier than any alternatives.

here is a great YouTube video of the technique
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1dj56HW72M

maybe Alison Woolley will give her opinion here- she is very good at this kind of work!


Woww! Thank you lynne for video.I did hear about that technique,but never see.I very like and I will try.I know Alison is the best in that kind of work.I was for courses in Florence 5 years ago,but I did not learn that technique.
Ok now I understand sgraffito technique,but in video,what hi using for finising the frame after sgraffito?

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lynne do you know what kind of paint hi using?
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

great video Lynne!

Raimonds,
He is probably using a rottenstone(ground pumice) wash to age it.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sonol'artista wrote:
great video Lynne!

Raimonds,
He is probably using a rottenstone(ground pumice) wash to age it.

Thank you.But what kind of paint I have to use for sgrafitto? I was experimenting today.I trued with casein paint,but looks do not work,is not coming off so easy how is in video.I have to find out what the paint I should use.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that is the red clay bole Raimonds. (Lynne, correct me if I am wrong!)

Check out this video-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnS4tkrWWpw



Theresa

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sonol'artista wrote:
I think that is the red clay bole Raimonds. (Lynne, correct me if I am wrong!)

Check out this video-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnS4tkrWWpw



Theresa

Thank you Theresa.I'm going to try that way today.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sonol'artista wrote:
I think that is the red clay bole Raimonds. (Lynne, correct me if I am wrong!)

Check out this video-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnS4tkrWWpw



Theresa

So,I trued paint with bole over gold,but it do not work.Bole is not coming off like in video.I think I'm doing some thing wrong.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, Raimonds,
Just looking at it, I would gild the wood, then seal it maybe. I think the bole would come off easier if it was sealed (oh Lynne, where are you???) What if you used dutch metal leaf as a sample, sealed it with shellac and then put the bole over it and see what happens.

I will get Lynne to help on this , ok?

Theresa

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sonol'artista wrote:
Ok, Raimonds,
Just looking at it, I would gild the wood, then seal it maybe. I think the bole would come off easier if it was sealed (oh Lynne, where are you???) What if you used dutch metal leaf as a sample, sealed it with shellac and then put the bole over it and see what happens.

I will get Lynne to help on this , ok?

Theresa

ok.Theresa,that will be very help fool.
what the paint hi use
do i need seal the gold?
And there is some special pen for scraping paint off.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you can do sgraffito with egg tempera. casein maybe if it's soft enough but tempera works best.


just a plug here- Alison Woolley will be teaching this very thing and other traditional Florentine gilding techniques at my studio in San Francisco in early August.
http://www.lynnerutter.com/classes.php?class=21

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WOW! great tutorial. Just wish there was explanation of the products. But it's so interesting to see a master at work! Thanks for sharing
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

lynne wrote:
you can do sgraffito with egg tempera. casein maybe if it's soft enough but tempera works best.


just a plug here- Alison Woolley will be teaching this very thing and other traditional Florentine gilding techniques at my studio in San Francisco in early August.
http://www.lynnerutter.com/classes.php?class=21

Thank you.I will try.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Raymond, I see we share very similar work interests, so I'm sure you will also find this article quite helpful, just as I did. The technique used to decorate the carved robe is called 'estofado' while the gesso method for acheiving the skin tones is called 'encarnación'.

The Making of a Seventeenth-Century Spanish Polychrome Sculpture


Francisco Antonio Gijón (1653–c. 1721) and unknown painter (possibly Domingo Mejías)
Saint John of the Cross c. 1675 painted and gilded wood


The polychromed wooden sculpture, which depicts the 16th-century saint known as John of the Cross, has recently undergone technical examination and conservation treatment by the object conservation department at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

To mark his beatification in 1675, when John was proclaimed worthy of public veneration in preparation for sainthood, the Carmelite convent in Seville commissioned this sculpture of him undergoing a mystical experience.

Originally, a dove, symbol of the Holy Spirit, was attached to his right shoulder, while in his right hand he would have held a quill, poised to record his vision in the book he holds in his left hand. The miniature rocky mountain on top of the book alludes to the title of the saint's celebrated spiritual treatise, Ascent of Mount Carmel.

Francisco Antonio Gijón was a sculptor from Seville renowned for his ability to carve dramatic works with intense expression. He was only 21 when he was awarded the commission.


Composite x-radiograph of Saint John of the Cross

During the technical examination, x-radiography revealed that the main body of the figure was carved from a single column of wood hollowed at the back from mid-chest down to the base in order to reduce its weight and minimize cracking along the grain. The radiographic evidence—in addition to subsequent identification of the wood as cypress—corresponds to details of a document in which the artist, Gijón, was commissioned to produce a sculpture of Saint John of the Cross, and specifies that a cypress log would be provided for his use.

Saint John of the Cross was a Spanish monk and priest born near Ávila in 1542, who during his lifetime founded an order of reformed Discalced Carmelites. ("Discalced" means barefoot or wearing sandals.) He was also a mystic and poet. Having worked briefly in his youth in a sculptor's workshop, John wrote of the necessity of sculpture to inspire reverence for the saints.


Schematic drawing of the assembly of Saint John of the Cross
drawing by Julia Sybalsky


Examination of the sculpture's surface and the x-radiograph revealed that the head, arms, hand, left leg, and both feet, as well as the cape, hood, and lower scapular portion of the monastic habit were all separately carved and attached to the trunk using animal glue and nails. The neck was carved with an extension shaped to fit into a hollow in the top of the trunk. Extra sections of wood were attached to the main column to accommodate the figure's expansive stance.


Detail showing the separately carved left hand with book

Each hand of Saint John of the Cross was made separately with a carved tenon (insertion piece) projecting from the center of the truncated wrist so that it could be fitted into the corresponding mortise (opening) at the end of the forearm.


Sequential schematic drawings of the surface preparations evident on Saint John of the Cross
drawing prepared by the object conservation department, National Gallery of Art


The schematic drawing illustrates the process of transforming the bare wood surface to its gilded and decorated final appearance. A team of specialists was involved in making the original sculpture. Traditionally, the sculptor carved the work and applied a white ground. Flesh tones of the head, hands, and feet were then applied by a painter. It was common for yet another artisan to embellish the drapery with estofado (gilded, painted, and scribed decoration).


Application of glue and linen to wood

Here, conservators in the laboratory demonstrate the application of glue and linen to cypress wood panels. The preparation of wood surfaces for estofado, a special technique used to decorate the drapery, was more time consuming than that for the encarnciones (flesh tones). Following an overall application of gíscola (animal glue and garlic essence), the surfaces to be gilded were covered with linen. This covering reinforced the separate wooden elements, isolated wood knots, and provided a rough surface to hold the subsequent layers of gesso. The strength provided by the fabric precluded the need for numerous expensive metal nails, which had the disadvantage of corroding and eventually causing the wood to crack during seasonal weather cycles.


Application of gesso over linen

[right] Conservators paid considerable attention to maintaining a smooth surface in between each layer, contributing to a final surface that was as smooth as possible.

[bottom] Next, gíscola was brushed over the fabric-covered surface, followed by four to five layers of warmed, glue-fortified yeso grueso (coarse gesso). Finer yeso mate was applied over the yeso grueso with a light hand in a continuous succession of several thin layers.


Application of red bole over gesso

Once dry, the bol (bole, or clay mixed with animal glue) provided a relatively tough but pliable surface on which the gold leaf could be scribed, impressed, or burnished. The final layer was attentively polished, since this was the surface upon which the gold leaf would be laid, and imperfections would be magnified by the gold's reflection.


Gilding

[right] Application of gold leaf over bole
After dampening the bole with water to activate the glue, individual gold leaf sheets were floated onto the surface and gently set down with a soft brush to work out any air bubbles and allowed to dry.

[bottom] Burnishing the gold leaf
The surface was then worked with a burnishing stone to a brilliant sheen.


Mixing tempera paint and applying over gilded surface

[right] Painting the gilded surface with tempera
The brilliant golden surface was brushed with thin layers of the egg tempera paint.

[bottom] Making tempera paint
In anticipation of the final steps for creating the estofado design, tempera paint was prepared by mixing diluted egg yolk with pigment.


Pattern transfer and scribing the tempera paint

[right] The pattern is transferred to the tempera surface with chalk to act as a guide for scribed lines (left side of panel). The matte surface of the tempera paint provides maximum contrast to the brilliant gold below (right side of panel).

[bottom] An intricate estofado pattern is revealed in gold as the tempera paint is removed with a stylus.


Adding punchwork

[right] Bands of intricate punchwork simulating gold trim border the estofado decoration along all of Saint John's vestments. Here, punchwork is added to the fabricated gilded decoration to further enhance the designs.

[bottom left] This detail from the drapery of Saint John of the Cross shows its estofado decoration and punched border. Estofado lent an impression of grandeur to the sculpture, which was often glimpsed from afar. A small repertoire of standard patterns elements could be used in varying combinations and sizes.


Detail of estofado as seen in a cross-section taken from the robe of Saint John

The technique of estofado as recreated in the National Gallery's conservation laboratory is consistent with that seen in this cross-section taken from the robe of Saint John:
(A) yeso grueso (coarse gesso)
(B) yeso mate (fine gesso)
(C) bole
(D) gold leaf
(E) tempera paint


Detail of unshaven chin from the face of Saint John of the Cross

Once the estofado decoration of the robe was completed, the finely carved features of the face, hands, and feet were prepared. The term encarnación (literally, "incarnation" or "made flesh") was used by painters to describe the subtle skill of painting the flesh tones of a sculpture. There were two ways of painting flesh tones: polimento (glossy) and mate (matte). The polimento technique, which involved polishing the surface, made the sculptures look shiny and reflected light in an unnatural way. By contrast, the mate technique was much favored in Seville as a way of approximating the true quality of human flesh. This was the technique used by the painter for Saint John's head, face, hands, and feet. On top of the white ground that covered these areas, the painter first applied a reddish colored priming as a base for the colors. Then, with the skill of a makeup artist, he worked up layers of shadow and texture using an oil-based paint to capture Saint John's angular cheekbones and unshaven chin. The final touch was to apply an egg-white varnish to make the eyes sparkle.


Clay model of the head of Saint John

The tradition of carving and painting sculpture continues to be popular in Spain today. Darío Fernández, a present-day imaginero (sculptor and painter of sacred images) in Seville, Spain, was commissioned to make a reproduction of the head of Saint John of the Cross to illustrate the process of carving and painting flesh tones. First, a clay model is made to determine the sculpture's proportions, and its measurements are transferred to the wood block. This reproduction was recreated solely from photographs and measurements of the head of the original 17th-century sculpture.

[left] A clay model of the head of Saint John was made as a preparatory study before carving in wood, as shown here in the studio of Darío Fernández

[right] Close-up of clay model


Reconstruction of the head of Saint John of the Cross, by Darío Fernández, 2009
Contemporary copy of the head and cowl of Saint John of the Cross, generously supported by The Matthiesen Foundation, London, and Coll & Cortes, Madrid.
Photo © Darío Fernández


[top] Front view: This modern reconstruction bust of Saint John, crafted by Darío Fernández, shows sequential stages of completion in its fabrication. Across the chest, from left to right: bare wood, glue-coated wood, coarse gesso, and fine gesso.

[bottom] Back view: the reverse shows of this reproduction sculpture, varying states of completion can be seen from right to left: blocks of wood glued to one another, forms roughed in the wood, and final carved and finished features.



Sculptures such as Saint John exist today due to the painstaking technical achievements of the many accomplished artists of Golden Age Spain, whose traditions have been passed down to present-day practitioners.

I copied & pasted all this info from http://www.nga.gov/exhibitions/2010/sacred/conservation/slideshow/index.shtm#

And here's an excellent video showing from start to completion of The Making of a Seventeenth-Century Spanish Polychrome Sculpture.
http://www.nga.gov/podcasts/video/hi/sacred-hi.shtm

Happy viewing

Andy

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wow, what a great article showing step by step the gesso, bole, gilding, tempera painting, and sgraffito through it as well as the punchwork. how awesome!
thanks so much for sharing this!

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andy,

This is a priceless article! Thank you so much,it fills in much guesswork on how the entire process is done.

Theresa

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fascinating. Thanks for sharing.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This must be where the saying "Patience is a VIRTUE" was first coined! Incredibly interesting and a testimony to the life of artists, before technological advances. Thank you for the wonderful article.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought about this a bit more, and wondered if this is a case where one might use a lightweight cloth as the transfer material.


Here's my thinking:

Draw the fabric pattern on the cloth.

Drape the fabric on the statue so that it conforms to the folds of the carved garments.

Use needle or pin to prick through the fabric to lightly emboss the surface of the sculpture.

(Does this make sense to anyone other than me?)

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes...this makes perfect sense to me Lisa....and that scares me Smile

Theresa

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You make me laugh!

Thinks like Lisa = SCAAAAAAAARY ! ! ! !

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andy Regan wrote:
Hi Raymond, I see we share very similar work interests, so I'm sure you will also find this article quite helpful, just as I did. The technique used to decorate the carved robe is called 'estofado' while the gesso method for acheiving the skin tones is called 'encarnación'.

The Making of a Seventeenth-Century Spanish Polychrome Sculpture


Francisco Antonio Gijón (1653–c. 1721) and unknown painter (possibly Domingo Mejías)
Saint John of the Cross c. 1675 painted and gilded wood


The polychromed wooden sculpture, which depicts the 16th-century saint known as John of the Cross, has recently undergone technical examination and conservation treatment by the object conservation department at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

To mark his beatification in 1675, when John was proclaimed worthy of public veneration in preparation for sainthood, the Carmelite convent in Seville commissioned this sculpture of him undergoing a mystical experience.

Originally, a dove, symbol of the Holy Spirit, was attached to his right shoulder, while in his right hand he would have held a quill, poised to record his vision in the book he holds in his left hand. The miniature rocky mountain on top of the book alludes to the title of the saint's celebrated spiritual treatise, Ascent of Mount Carmel.

Francisco Antonio Gijón was a sculptor from Seville renowned for his ability to carve dramatic works with intense expression. He was only 21 when he was awarded the commission.


Composite x-radiograph of Saint John of the Cross

During the technical examination, x-radiography revealed that the main body of the figure was carved from a single column of wood hollowed at the back from mid-chest down to the base in order to reduce its weight and minimize cracking along the grain. The radiographic evidence—in addition to subsequent identification of the wood as cypress—corresponds to details of a document in which the artist, Gijón, was commissioned to produce a sculpture of Saint John of the Cross, and specifies that a cypress log would be provided for his use.

Saint John of the Cross was a Spanish monk and priest born near Ávila in 1542, who during his lifetime founded an order of reformed Discalced Carmelites. ("Discalced" means barefoot or wearing sandals.) He was also a mystic and poet. Having worked briefly in his youth in a sculptor's workshop, John wrote of the necessity of sculpture to inspire reverence for the saints.


Schematic drawing of the assembly of Saint John of the Cross
drawing by Julia Sybalsky


Examination of the sculpture's surface and the x-radiograph revealed that the head, arms, hand, left leg, and both feet, as well as the cape, hood, and lower scapular portion of the monastic habit were all separately carved and attached to the trunk using animal glue and nails. The neck was carved with an extension shaped to fit into a hollow in the top of the trunk. Extra sections of wood were attached to the main column to accommodate the figure's expansive stance.


Detail showing the separately carved left hand with book

Each hand of Saint John of the Cross was made separately with a carved tenon (insertion piece) projecting from the center of the truncated wrist so that it could be fitted into the corresponding mortise (opening) at the end of the forearm.


Sequential schematic drawings of the surface preparations evident on Saint John of the Cross
drawing prepared by the object conservation department, National Gallery of Art


The schematic drawing illustrates the process of transforming the bare wood surface to its gilded and decorated final appearance. A team of specialists was involved in making the original sculpture. Traditionally, the sculptor carved the work and applied a white ground. Flesh tones of the head, hands, and feet were then applied by a painter. It was common for yet another artisan to embellish the drapery with estofado (gilded, painted, and scribed decoration).


Application of glue and linen to wood

Here, conservators in the laboratory demonstrate the application of glue and linen to cypress wood panels. The preparation of wood surfaces for estofado, a special technique used to decorate the drapery, was more time consuming than that for the encarnciones (flesh tones). Following an overall application of gíscola (animal glue and garlic essence), the surfaces to be gilded were covered with linen. This covering reinforced the separate wooden elements, isolated wood knots, and provided a rough surface to hold the subsequent layers of gesso. The strength provided by the fabric precluded the need for numerous expensive metal nails, which had the disadvantage of corroding and eventually causing the wood to crack during seasonal weather cycles.


Application of gesso over linen

[right] Conservators paid considerable attention to maintaining a smooth surface in between each layer, contributing to a final surface that was as smooth as possible.

[bottom] Next, gíscola was brushed over the fabric-covered surface, followed by four to five layers of warmed, glue-fortified yeso grueso (coarse gesso). Finer yeso mate was applied over the yeso grueso with a light hand in a continuous succession of several thin layers.


Application of red bole over gesso

Once dry, the bol (bole, or clay mixed with animal glue) provided a relatively tough but pliable surface on which the gold leaf could be scribed, impressed, or burnished. The final layer was attentively polished, since this was the surface upon which the gold leaf would be laid, and imperfections would be magnified by the gold's reflection.


Gilding

[right] Application of gold leaf over bole
After dampening the bole with water to activate the glue, individual gold leaf sheets were floated onto the surface and gently set down with a soft brush to work out any air bubbles and allowed to dry.

[bottom] Burnishing the gold leaf
The surface was then worked with a burnishing stone to a brilliant sheen.


Mixing tempera paint and applying over gilded surface

[right] Painting the gilded surface with tempera
The brilliant golden surface was brushed with thin layers of the egg tempera paint.

[bottom] Making tempera paint
In anticipation of the final steps for creating the estofado design, tempera paint was prepared by mixing diluted egg yolk with pigment.


Pattern transfer and scribing the tempera paint

[right] The pattern is transferred to the tempera surface with chalk to act as a guide for scribed lines (left side of panel). The matte surface of the tempera paint provides maximum contrast to the brilliant gold below (right side of panel).

[bottom] An intricate estofado pattern is revealed in gold as the tempera paint is removed with a stylus.


Adding punchwork

[right] Bands of intricate punchwork simulating gold trim border the estofado decoration along all of Saint John's vestments. Here, punchwork is added to the fabricated gilded decoration to further enhance the designs.

[bottom left] This detail from the drapery of Saint John of the Cross shows its estofado decoration and punched border. Estofado lent an impression of grandeur to the sculpture, which was often glimpsed from afar. A small repertoire of standard patterns elements could be used in varying combinations and sizes.


Detail of estofado as seen in a cross-section taken from the robe of Saint John

The technique of estofado as recreated in the National Gallery's conservation laboratory is consistent with that seen in this cross-section taken from the robe of Saint John:
(A) yeso grueso (coarse gesso)
(B) yeso mate (fine gesso)
(C) bole
(D) gold leaf
(E) tempera paint


Detail of unshaven chin from the face of Saint John of the Cross

Once the estofado decoration of the robe was completed, the finely carved features of the face, hands, and feet were prepared. The term encarnación (literally, "incarnation" or "made flesh") was used by painters to describe the subtle skill of painting the flesh tones of a sculpture. There were two ways of painting flesh tones: polimento (glossy) and mate (matte). The polimento technique, which involved polishing the surface, made the sculptures look shiny and reflected light in an unnatural way. By contrast, the mate technique was much favored in Seville as a way of approximating the true quality of human flesh. This was the technique used by the painter for Saint John's head, face, hands, and feet. On top of the white ground that covered these areas, the painter first applied a reddish colored priming as a base for the colors. Then, with the skill of a makeup artist, he worked up layers of shadow and texture using an oil-based paint to capture Saint John's angular cheekbones and unshaven chin. The final touch was to apply an egg-white varnish to make the eyes sparkle.


Clay model of the head of Saint John

The tradition of carving and painting sculpture continues to be popular in Spain today. Darío Fernández, a present-day imaginero (sculptor and painter of sacred images) in Seville, Spain, was commissioned to make a reproduction of the head of Saint John of the Cross to illustrate the process of carving and painting flesh tones. First, a clay model is made to determine the sculpture's proportions, and its measurements are transferred to the wood block. This reproduction was recreated solely from photographs and measurements of the head of the original 17th-century sculpture.

[left] A clay model of the head of Saint John was made as a preparatory study before carving in wood, as shown here in the studio of Darío Fernández

[right] Close-up of clay model


Reconstruction of the head of Saint John of the Cross, by Darío Fernández, 2009
Contemporary copy of the head and cowl of Saint John of the Cross, generously supported by The Matthiesen Foundation, London, and Coll & Cortes, Madrid.
Photo © Darío Fernández


[top] Front view: This modern reconstruction bust of Saint John, crafted by Darío Fernández, shows sequential stages of completion in its fabrication. Across the chest, from left to right: bare wood, glue-coated wood, coarse gesso, and fine gesso.

[bottom] Back view: the reverse shows of this reproduction sculpture, varying states of completion can be seen from right to left: blocks of wood glued to one another, forms roughed in the wood, and final carved and finished features.



Sculptures such as Saint John exist today due to the painstaking technical achievements of the many accomplished artists of Golden Age Spain, whose traditions have been passed down to present-day practitioners.

I copied & pasted all this info from http://www.nga.gov/exhibitions/2010/sacred/conservation/slideshow/index.shtm#

And here's an excellent video showing from start to completion of The Making of a Seventeenth-Century Spanish Polychrome Sculpture.
http://www.nga.gov/podcasts/video/hi/sacred-hi.shtm

Happy viewing

Andy


Thank you very much Andy for sharing this.I had missed your post,just find tonight,and is very help full for me.

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