During the workshop that I attended in Phoenix, I used imitation gold leaf for the first time. Gold leaf or metal leaf is exactly as it sounds. It is a more cost effective version of genuine gold leaf imitating the same metallic qualities.
The metals used to create the imitation gold leaf are an alloy of copper and zinc. Metal leaf is thicker than genuine gold leaf and is easier to handle. It commonly comes in squares of about 5 x 5 inches.
Real gold leaf is usually stored in a store vault. It is sold in squares of about 2 x 2 inches and costs about $10 per square. Imitation gold leaf comes in squares of about 5 x 5 inches, and cost about $0.25 cents per square.
The process of using the imitation gold leaf was to apply gold leaf fixative that was made specifically for this product. I put it in the places that it thought would make an interesting composition and where I wanted to see the shimmer. After applying the glue, I waited for it to dry until it was just tacky and then laid the leaf on it. Next I got the air bubbles out with a soft brush. The image was then ready for me to complete.
Here is how the painting turned out:
I like the process and result and since I bought a booklet of gold leaves, I can use them in more paintings.