In Italy and France, I was privileged to closely observe how the Renaissance Masters executed their underpainting. They would draw with a terra-cotta shard or charcoal directly on the canvas. In this important stage, they drew nearly all their grey values. Many then finished their paintings with a series of transparent oil color glazes. This is why the underpainting was so critical.
I choose to stop at this intriguing underpainting stage and add the reflective beauty of 23K gold leaf rather than colored glazes. I have been inspired by the early icon and medieval artists extensive use of gold leaf. I hope that my omission of colored glazes will include the viewer as “co-creator”.
In this series of paintings, graphite is the beginning and gold leaf is the completion.