Gilding the Lily

with Dan Mooney

TCG 2-day Workshop Weekend

November 16 and 17, 2019


[After four years of long anticipation, TCG members once again get a chance to play with gold, to continue from the last workshop we had with Dan Mooney, on Sept 26/27, 2015: see our previous blog post: Dan Mooney, the Gilding Workshop.

by Kerr Pelto:

Dan is well known for his gold work and tooling of gold as well as his beautiful painting and calligraphy. If you want to see some of his work, visit his website:

Some of you will remember his TCG sponsored workshop here in 2015. After that weekend, I felt like I could actually work with real gold. Dan is an excellent teacher, he took us step by step through the process of gilding and painting, and we each completed a beautiful project. Of course, he has a different project in mind for this workshop!

by Harriet Davis, Nov 21 2019:

Dan showed us how to gild his fleur-de-lis design and then how to use watercolors to paint the acanthus leaves surrounding it. There were many beautiful color interpretations. I heard lots of positive comments – and Dan told me he had a great time, too.

Gilded letter, Dan Mooney Workshop 2015, by Harriet Davis


A workshop on illuminated and decorated letters

The Nov 2019 workshop will focus on some fun, hands-on small projects and one lavish finished piece to get you familiar with the joy of using gold leaf. You will have no more fear or uncertainties of how to use gold leaf effectively. You will walk away from this workshop with confidence and dependable tips under your belt to always be ready to add a sparkle to your work.

You will have a blast creating a finished piece learning fool proof techniques of gilding using Jerry Tresser’s pink size as a base along with raised gilding using instacoll as a base. After you’ve applied the gold leaf, you will learn to tool the gold to enhance it and make it come alive. After the gold is applied, you will learn some basic watercolor techniques and tips to use on the finished piece you’ll be creating.

You will also observe Dan demonstrate the technique of using hand made gesso as a base for raised gilding, polishing the gesso and then polishing the 24K gold leaf to achieve a perfect mirror finish.
CLASS LEVEL: For beginners as well as advanced.


Item numbers shown are from John Neal Bookseller


(S478) Ball burnisher-stylus with 2 tips (sharp and ball)

also for extra sharp point is (S255) bookbinders awl – TCG has some of these we can share

(S620) Clear Dappen Dish (critical)

(I38) Dr, Martins Bleed Proof White ink


Misc. that you probably already have:

Dawn Detergent (dish foam if possible)  TCG will supply this to share

(S464) plastic triangle

straight pen holder and a pointed nib (like Nikko)

mixing pallet for watercolors (a flat dish is fine)

(M17) Pigma micron marker size 005 or 01 or a similar technical pen with waterproof ink for thin lines.

Reading glasses!

professional water colors, (any green, blue, red & yellow)

light box or autograph pad with an extension cord

A light, not critical but you’ll be glad you have one. (I use the compact portable lamp from John Neal)

2H pencil or mechanical lead holder

paper towels

Q-tips or blending sticks,/stumps from smudging pencil

water jar

distilled water and eyedropper (critical)

toothpicks for stirring instacoll

white eraser

watercolor brush size 1 with a good point! (BR47) Kolinsky 8408 is great!

drafting tape or drafting dots

Dan will supply all of the 140# hot pressed watercolor papers, tiny brushes, sheets of 24k gold leaf, Instacoll size, Pink Tressor size, miniatum ink and more.

About Dan Mooney:

Dan lives in Harwich Port, Cape Cod, MA and has been playing with pens and gold for over 40 years. Dan is Vice President of Colonial Land Surveying Co., Inc., Past-President of Masscribes, Inc. (New England Calligrapher’s Guild) and past President of Colonial Calli-Graphics, L.L.C.

Dan’s work has been published in Letter Arts Review, Bound and Lettered; and a colorful published work entitled “Your God” was included in the beautiful coffee table book, Nice Rendition: Cheryl Wheeler’s Lyrics in Calligraphy.

Dan received further intercontinental fame with a commission in 2017 to create nine intricate maps for the book With Their Bare Hands written by Gene Fax, published in Great Britain by Osprey Publishing.

Dan enjoys sharing his passion and teaching gilding workshops throughout the country.

All images by Dan Mooney