This painting was a commissioned by Mennonite Church USA for a new building in Elkhart, IN.
Here are some detail shots to explain how the gilded elements of the painting work. This shot is looking slightly up at the middle section of the painting so the leaf becomes visible:
I am using the gilding as an additional color, something out past the range I can get from traditional pigment. It has the same texture as the paint it is embedded in, and participates in the composition the same way any other color would. It is just not visible from every angle:
This last one is as close as I can focus the lens, right in the middle of the painting. Click on it for a bigger version: