Shell gold. What is that?

Shell gold is not a small lump of gold that occurs in a shell, like the well-known pearls in oysters. No, it is a medium that was developed especially for painting.

Shell gold owes its unusual name to the shells in which it is bottled and sold. They are shells.

For this, pure gold (999.9) is processed into very fine dust. The gold dust is then bound in a little gum arabic.

Gum arabic is the binder used in all watercolour paints.

The shell gold still has a carat value of 23.75 out of 24. Like the pigment in other watercolours, I can dissolve the gold again with a little water in the brush and achieve excellent effects on my painting surface.

The idea of painting with one of the most precious metals has an enormous appeal for me. And it always gives me great pleasure to see the effect I can achieve with small brushstrokes of this mineral.

Your Art is Improvement Team


Here you can see how I add some highlights with shell gold.

Self Portrait Albrecht Dürer

Source of the drawing Albrecht Dürer Self-Portrait: Bildergalerie – Albrecht Dürer ( (This image source (artist: Albrecht Dürer) is not covered by the applicable copyright).


Drawing with pure silver

A great role model for us is Albrecht Dürer. He was an outstanding artist of the Renaissance. Through him we came across a medium that sparked our interest. At the age of 13, he drew a self-portrait with a silver pencil.

The idea of making paintings with a precious metal fascinated me so much that I wanted to try it myself. I discovered that it is not that easy. Simply drawing with a silver bar on a sheet is not. So I found out that it requires an intensive pre-treatment of the drawing surface.

The silver has only a very slight abrasion on the paper, which makes it almost invisible. However, if you add some substances to the paper, the silver can oxidise. This then causes an after-darkening. However, oxidation takes time, so the draughtsman needs a little experience and imagination as far as contrasts are concerned. In any case, you cannot darken any areas. You are limited to hatching.

In the 15th century, the heyday of the silverpoint, parchment or wet-ground paper was rubbed with pumice stone to increase the abrasion, which made the surface slightly rough.

Gibs or bone meal was then used as a primer. For this purpose, chicken bones were usually baked in the fire and then finely ground into flour. Lead white and egg yolk were then added to this. The egg yolk is very rich in sulphur. The sulphur causes the oxidation of silver to silver sulphite. 

In order for the primer to adhere to the drawing surface, the venerable old ones mixed the mass with glue water. The glue was also made from animal waste such as bone cartilage or hides.

Nowadays there are also synthetic ground coats for drawing with the silver mine. We got one of these to try out for ourselves how to draw with a precious metal and to gain our first experiences. Our aim, however, is clearly to mix a primer ourselves, like the old masters, and to draw in the sense of tradition as in the 15th century.

When we have gained experience with this, another article on this topic will be published here.

Your Art is Improvement Team 


We say hello!

We, Kilian and Jonathan Schulze, already had the idea two years ago to go public with our art. So we sat down together and let our thoughts flow, collected ideas and made notes. We came up with a really cool concept.

Unfortunately, the whole thing then fell asleep a bit. Now we had a similar idea and started exactly the same way as last time. Only with the aim of really going through with it this time. While we were making our notes and getting out documents to make plans, we came across our old notes. We found that our ideas remained very similar. 

Now we are here. And we are happy that with our works and our experience, we can give you the same added value in quality of life that we have experienced through art, and experience anew every day.

Your Art is Improvement Team