Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Gilding the tondo

Portrait of a boy
acrylic and 24 karat gold leaf on canvas
6 x 6 inches
Barbara Muir © 2010
(now the painting is gilded. Next?)

Okay so I've been reading up on tondos, (round paintings)
and my little painting wouldn't qualify as a tondo. Why?
It's too small -- they're supposed to be a minimum of
two and a half feet across. Steven had the good idea of
calling mine a tondo piccolo.

Today I spent the afternoon gilding over the red outside
part with 24 karat gold leaf. Tedious but fun. I'm not
quite finished because I should perhaps make a second
inner circle and I'm debating with myself about whether
or not to decorate over the gold.

The gold leaf photographed with a flash

I did some work on the face and the hair, and may
beef up the white in his shirt tomorrow. I know that I
really don't paint anything like Botticelli, and that's
all right. I was going through old reference photos,
and this image was one I couldn't use when I did
this young boy's portrait. I'd just been looking at
a round painting of Mary with eight angels when I
found this, and the angels look like teenage boys.
In fact one of my friend's nephews looks exactly
like one of the boys who posed for angels in that
painting. And my client's son had a slightly
angelic air, but also a fantastic sense of humour.

So here's the next stage -- gilding.

Have a happily-working-on-new-projects day.


cohen labelle said...

Wowee Barbara! I love this Tondo Piccolo!
xoxoxoxo Marcia

Melinda said...

Oh, yeah, this is a wonderful "Tondo Piccolo." I think you've started something.

Dazzling. And, there is a lovely expression in the boy's face.

eldon warren said...

Tondo Miniscuria. Beautiful piece Barbara. You never disappoint. I've laid off too long now and seeing you keepin on truckin has put me back in front of the easel. Keep em comin. Love what you do.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Marcia,

Thanks so much. I'd like to move the tondo to the big screen, but don't have the subject matter. I am seeing these complex scenes. Too complex I fear.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

Thanks. That little boy was such a sweetheart, smart and funny with huge ambitions. I loved talking to him. So much energy and reading Moliere!


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Eldon,

I think we have to give ourselves a break. When it's time to paint, we do. Otherwise why are we painting? You are so great.

Take care,


Gwen Bell said...

Wonderful! He has such a sweet expression and I love the addition of the Gold Leaf. I've seen photos of these round paintings but never knew they had a name...Tondo.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Gwen,

I'm afraid we are a bit smitten with all things Florentine. Had a super evening talking with friends across the street whose house is decorated with images of Florence and Tuscany. Needless to say we had lots to say to one another.


Portrait Artist

My photo
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I paint and draw on commission and for shows. To commission a portrait, or purchase one of my paintings please contact me at: barbara.muir@sympatico.ca
A major highlight in my career? Drawing Oprah Winfrey live via Skype for her show "Where in the Skype are you? Galleries: Studio Vogue Gallery, Toronto, Canada. The Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, New York City. Gallery at the Porch Door, Kingston, Canada. Your positive comments on this blog mean the world to me. I'd love to hear from you!