It may seem a bit wasteful to cover an entire design surface with a particular material such as text pages or in this case...metal leaf. However, the decision to cover the entire sheet will give you options as you continue to layer and make more decisions.
The metal leaf in this piece is simulated silver leaf, purchased at an art store with a thin paper backing. You should look for metal leaf that states on the package that it has a backing because it is so much easier to apply. If buying real gold or silver leaf, you look for the word "patent" which means it has a backing.
After coating a piece of 300 lb. HP with black gesso, I began the process of adhering the leaf to the support. I began by cutting the larger sheets of metal leaf into quarters. I did this because I was trying to create a grid like pattern with the black gesso showing between the leaf in an erratic way...(in other words, there was no measuring or precision involved). The Gel Matte Medium was brushed on to small areas with a sponge brush and the leaf laid down into the medium. I then rubbed the backing of the leaf and removed the orange backing paper. So that is what you are seeing in the first draft.
The next step was to adhere text over portions of the leaf. (I did leave half of it undone so you could see the progression.) Now as the piece progresses, you will wonder why I "wasted" the metal leaf by placing it everywhere since a fraction of what you see today will be showing in the final piece. And the reason is.....I like options. If I must worry about where the leaf is strategically placed in the beginning, it begins to narrow down my design choices dramatically.
And that is the process of layering. It is all about laying things down....covering portions up...laying down more things...etc. I may have selected a quote, but the truth of the matter is, that this piece will change dramatically as I progress. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.