Renowned nationally and internationally for his wildlife sculpture, Leo E. Osborne is also widely recognized as a painter of strikingly unique acrylic works on gold leaf. Leo refers to the technique of using acrylic paints on gilded surfaces as “acrylusion on gold leaf," where the medium itself plays an active role in the final outcome.
Beginning with masonite panel, the surface is prepared in red paint. Gilding the painted surface with 24k gold leaf, Leo proceeds to paint with acrylics and then layers on materials that react, causing oxidation and crackling to occur. This is where the dialogue between art and artist really emerges. Some areas within a painting might be re-gilded and painted again. Other areas might be sealed, and then more gold leaf and paint are applied and reacted around the sealed area. Different levels of the reaction chemical create green color effects. This process informs the painting from its original conception to its final result. When the new work is completed, Leo applies a final clear coat to protect the surface.
The result in an incredibly stunning painting that continually changes with the shift of light throughout the day.