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Watercolor Dye Technique #6: Toscana, Disassemble, Dye, Re-assemble

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Blog entry by shipwright posted 335 days ago 1004 reads 2 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Toscana, cutting and assembly Part 6 of Watercolor Dye Technique series Part 7: Flip, Flop, and Press ... protecting the dye. »

The general method of applying the dye is with an artist’s brush as seen in the first segment of this blog so I won’t go into great detail here. Suffice to say that each piece is done separately in one or more colors allowing the color to flow into the grain. The work area will become colorful so a cover of several layers of paper is a good idea.

The procedure I used here was to first mount the whole piece on clear “Contact” shelf paper face side up and then to remove a few pieces at a time, soak and peel the tape from the surface, dye them, and return them to their places. It is important to work on an adhesive surface like this and to work from the outside in toward the center because the pieces will expand with the water both from tape removal and dye. If the newly dyed pieces were not confined by the pieces around them they could not be made to re-assume their exact positions and you would never get them to fit. It is also important to have some weight to keep the pieces flat. I used acrylic plates.

This is a tree in the background by the farmhouse. It first gets a bath of yellow on its sun side, then a dark green on its shady side, then just a line of very dark green on the very edge. You can’t see the yellow at the end, but its effect is there.

You can begin to see the effect of the wiggly cutting here.

The picture is coming together nicely ........

........and the work area is becoming more colorful as well. At one point I counted 19 brushes, ten colors and six dilutions of base colors in use.

At last it is all dyed and everything has been forced back into its place. It is amazing how malleable these pieces of wet wood are. I fitted some of the larger pieces (leaves) that were 1/4 inch bigger than their spaces. I just inserted top and bottom and pushed the middle down ….. and they just compress down and fit… snap. That’s why the acrylic is there and that’s why there are no gaps. You can’t believe it until you do it. I should add that I did dry each piece with a hair dryer for some time before assembling but they were still quite swollen.

So I guess you’re thinking the fun is over for this time. ....... Wrong! ...... The fun part hasn’t even started yet.
Next up is to get this whole thing mounted and finished without any sanding and without making the dye bleed and without losing the shape and integrity of the assembly.
Sounds easy when you say it that way.
How I managed that next time (yes, it is already just about finished).

Thanks for looking

Paul

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/



10 comments so far

View tomd's profile

tomd

1726 posts in 2371 days


#1 posted 335 days ago

Wow that really looks great and I can not see any grain lines. Nice picture and you seem to have a knack for drawing too. I always seem to learn something new about marquetry from your blogs, I will wait till you finish this picture and blog, then ask my 300 questions. Love the skill you are displaying.

-- Tom D

View JeremyPringle's profile

JeremyPringle

281 posts in 1075 days


#2 posted 335 days ago

This is really cool. Every time you post I am more and more impressed.

View sandhill's profile

sandhill

2104 posts in 2525 days


#3 posted 335 days ago

Nice design Paul and nicely executed. You have been practicing A LOT! Way to go.

-- Bob Egbert AKA Sandhill http://www.sandhillwoodworks.com/

View tinnman65's profile

tinnman65

1104 posts in 2015 days


#4 posted 335 days ago

I must say I am pretty impressed with your work as a painter! This is going to be a beautiful piece of work.

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

4987 posts in 2313 days


#5 posted 335 days ago

Amazing work. It seems to go pretty quickly for you also, its great to see so much progress.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Roger's profile

Roger

14139 posts in 1405 days


#6 posted 335 days ago

WowZa, Paul. Just totally amazing

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View stefang's profile

stefang

12588 posts in 1935 days


#7 posted 335 days ago

It seems that you are mastering painting (dyeing) both at the same time Paul. Your rendering looks a lot better than the original photo. Very impressive work. I especially liked the way you did the trees with the different colors to get the sun and shading effects. That worked out extremely well. Thanks for this wonderful tutorial, I’ve learned at a lot from it so far, at least the theory part.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View kiefer's profile

kiefer

2949 posts in 1268 days


#8 posted 334 days ago

Impressive and so fast getting to this point ,
I can’t believe it .
I like it a lot and now I am anxious to see the finished picture .
It’s going to be a master piece .

-- Kiefer 松

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

4843 posts in 1399 days


#9 posted 334 days ago

In all fairness I had this almost finished before I started the blog. The cutting took about six and a half hours. The dyeing about twice that and assorted work-arounds, packet making and the like another half dozen. At the point you see here it’s about twenty five hours, not counting office time on research, sketching and Inkscape.

I really didn’t want to be two segments into a blog and have a catastrophic failure. Much of this was new territory, very different than the earlier pieces where there were only a few much larger pieces.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6749 posts in 1752 days


#10 posted 323 days ago

wow, really nice!

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

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