Portrait-sketch of Tom Hiddleston as Loki
Print of Tom Hiddleston as Loki with metal leaf

I worked up a sketch of Tom Hiddleston as Loki the other day (top image) as a morning warmup. As the sketch was evolving, I thought I might be able to treat this particular idea a little different (bottom image) by incorporating some metal-leaf as a decorative element to the piece. 

Print of Tom Hiddleston as Loki with metal leaf

In my university days, I did a lot of bookbinding and thought that gold-leaf might be an interesting remarque on the illustration. This test print is the first attempt at using metal-leaf on any of my illustrations; I have used it for other purposes, but incorporating it into an illustration is a new technique for me.

Print of Tom Hiddleston as Loki with metal leaf

One must really see the image to value the effect. Holding the illustration and tilting it back and forth to catcht the light is a really dramatic effect to the piece. I have a few more tests to perform but I plan on adding this to specific prints that bridge the gap between digital creation and traditional creative techniques. 

The imperfections in the process are one of the intangible qualities of using this centuries-old technique paired with the latest in digital production that can breathe life into new methods and connect them to our artistic heritage. 

The original sketch was created in Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and Corel Painter, while the print was output on a Canon Pro-100 printer to Hahnemühle Baryta paper. A fixative was sprayed on the print and the metal-leaf applied once dried. A final protective coat was applied to the piece, once the leaf had dried.

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