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flo

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  1. Thanks for the recipe, I will try to make these color pads. It looks fun! Is the powdered rosin you use just regular bow rosin that you crush? This makes me wanna try this for rental instruments. Never thought of this before!
  2. I conclude that watercolors are use to literally paint wood patterns on the violin as the base layer. I'll look into Hammerl dyes, they look promising. -And they are cheap!- [edit] No, they are not cheap! The more I read MN, the more I realize I know nothing. I know nothing about all the products you guys recommand, but all look interesting. Some many options! I guess that traditional products are prefered for traditional work on traditional instruments, but I guess that if these synthetic resins are easily reversible without touching the original varnish, they can be better than what's usually used? I used Chartpak touchup markers to colorize borders that became too white on cheap instruments. They can also be used with great results on pianos to hide big scratches. But never use them of bare wook, they colorize quite deep. I really don't use them much on violins, but if I need to, the result can be good. These dyes also look great, like the Hammerl ones. Makes me wonder if all these different products can be mixed… How do you make your paint pad?
  3. Following my other post about touchup and pigments, I purchased good watercolors (both transparent and very lightfast) and tried to paint over the varnish. I tried the Saran Wrap thing but the area to cover is so large that I always had bubbles and wrinkles disturbing me. Thankfully, watercolor can be washed if I do wrong (or, it seems that it can be washed). After some try and errors, I have a few questions for you guy. Thanks again for your commitment in helping newbs like me, I can’t understate how valuable and appreciated it is. 1. the color layer gets very matt. I guess it is normal, but I need to be sure about the sheen before laying down varnish. 2. I can also see brush bristles marks and water evaporation marks. This one I’m not sure it is normal. I tried to apply the watercolors as dry as possible to avoid « drops » to form à the beginning and end of a brush trace. When such a drop dries, it leave and almost opaque round of color. 3. About color intensity: should I really be able to see a coloration difference with just one layer of color? In other words: should add several layers of color before sealing with varnish? It seems to me the undesired opacity can come with either too much color in the palette mix or too many color layers one on another without varnish to separate them. Both come to the same thing to me, if I think about it. I added successive color layers because I’m afraid of building too much height on the varnish. 4. I try to follow the Brian Epp steps here, but I have no access to the liquid dyes mentioned (ColorTone or TransTint) and haven’t found an equivalent in my country yet. In the book, it says that a « Day-Glo blob » can happen. What does that mean? From searching, it appears to be a super strong blob of color. Am I right? 5. Finally, I intend to alternate between watercolor and colored varnish layers. Is it okay? Maybe it can keep the number of layers a bit lower. For your information, I need to touchup a luth where the table frets where misplaced and glued with a non soluble glue. The frets being very low, I’m a bit afraid of build-up. Thanks again!
  4. I didn’t know this person. He seems to have moved to Switzerland. Out of my reach for now, but it’s worth contacting it. Yes, I’ve been in touch with them but their teaching schedule has been kind of disrupted by the COVID thing. I will actively watch for updates on their side. I’ve bought her zoom lecture on retouching. It’s been helpful. I’m aware of much of the process of retouching, but as always with this kind of manual work, it’s much better to be teached in person. Thank you all for taking the time to post here. I will definitely attend a workshop, may it be abroad, when money allows it. I have tried picking dry pigments with a damp brush, without much success. I couldn’t have a regular layer of color. There were some clumps. I’ll give it another try later. Colorized retouch varnish is easier but it can’t really tell if the color shows. I applied two layers, let it dry and rest my eyes during the weekend and we’ll see on Monday the effectiveness. I will invest in watercolors and try it next week.
  5. I’m from France! By the way, I don’t know if such thing has been done/organized on MN, but it would be great if people from MN in France could meet for teaching/discussing/helping purposes. As much information I can find online, nothing compares to learning/being corrected personally. Luthiers in my region have always been reluctant to help, which I can understand of course, and restauration/touchup teaching is pretty rare.
  6. First of all, I’m sorry for replying so late, but it seems that I can only post twice a day. I don’t know what it takes to have this limitation removed. So, I reply to you all in a verbose post, sorry for that! Then, thank you all for taking the time to write such good insights and tips. Brad, I may use too much alcohol. I added so much in order to dilute the pigments (failure) and keep the transparency of the solution. I also added a little bit of varnish in order to help the pigments melt. Seemed to work, but as I wanted to keep the ratio varnish/alcohol low, I added more alcohol. Nevertheless, I always thoroughly « damped » (I don’t know the correct word in English) the brush on the side of the palette compartment and then dried it on a paper towel. I will definitely try you advice. I didn’t visualize the process as a « simple » transfer of pigments from the palette to the instrument using a damp brush. Thanks again. Doug, I’m from France and could not find a single workshop on the subject yet. I have to rely on literature and I already have the book from Brian Epp. I read there is no « bible » on retouching but it is the best starting point for now. He doesn’t use pigments but watercolors, which I will try but can’t afford right now (time and money constraints). I know it’s tricky but I like challenges and really want to get into it. The layers/glazing technique I’m aware of, and try to use it, but my color layers make so little difference (can’t see any in fact) that I don’t know if I’m going in the right direction. Really, I’m reluctant to apply a clear varnish coat just because seeing no color change, I feel like I will build too much thickness. I don’t know what parameter is wrong yet. I’m using supposedly transparent pigments, by the way. And I don’t grasp the whole pigments/dyes/aniline thing correctly. Language barrier, but I need to investigate it well, then transfer/translate it with French resellers when I need to buy something. Jeffrey, thanks for this thorough answer. Your pigments in varnish thing is much what I tried to do, but I thinned the solution in order to have the thinnest and most quickly drying layers possible. I’ll try without the alcohol added. The problem with my current project is that I have a fairly large area to touchup, so I’m afraid of the brush sticking to the varnish in the middle of the line. I look from every angles all the time, and what I seem for now is quite discouraging, given there are fibers pressed/raised and that the two table pieces reflect light in opposite way! Thank you for the Saran wrap tip, it will help a lot. See you tomorrow when I can post again!
  7. Ouch, that one hurts! Sorry for the typo (and other ones, English not being my native language)
  8. Hi, I’m learning about touchup and spirit varnish in general and this forum has been a great resource so far. Thank you all for the great talks. I try to colorize using pigments and I can’t seem to have them dilute correctly in alcohol. I make a very thin varnish/alcohol solution to which I gradually add pigments until I match the desired color, them add more varnish/alcohol if it took too much pigments to get to the color. But I constantly have to stir the mix, else the piment start to agglomerate in the bottom of the liquid. Is it normal? Is there something I missed? Also, I find it very difficult to understand the right amount of varnish/alcohol to add to 1. get the good opacity/colorization for a layer to be applied and 2. to have the least amount of varnish in the color layer. I think I understood that the glazing process should be an alternance of clear varnish and few layers of pure alcohol/color mix but I can’t make the pigments and alcohol to mix well without some varnish added. I found very little here about touchup using pigments. Does anyone use them? Thanks! IMG_2787.heic
  9. Yes, I'm not looking for controversy and I'm aware that anything is done has an environmental cost. Same debate with overly chopping down trees although we might collectively need a big paradigm shit. I tried to leave a brush suspended in alcool, through a cork closing the jar, but it melted the handle finish so I stopped doing this. Do you leave the jar open? If so, doesn't the alcool evaporates too quickly? Do you refill it? I wonder what would a cheap demo violin look like with a year old infused varnish Anyways, thanks all for the advices. I'll stick with my synthetic brushes until I level up and can afford/justify the extra cost of the sable brushes I craving for!
  10. Does it mean that it’s easier to lay a varnish layer without leaving a brush mark? I read that they also store more Liquide allowing more passes before recharging with varnish. I only know they are supposed to be the top of the line. But there a different grades of sable: kolinski, pure gold are two I remember. Not sure how they rank or if it really matters. And there are some concerns about how these animals are mistreated, aren’t there?
  11. Thank you, so I’m not doing wrong to my brushes! Any takes on synthetic brushes? Is it possible to make a good job with a good quality one?
  12. Hi! I'm trying to learn how to do spirit varnishes (for repairs and touchup, I don't build instruments) and I've been told to let my brushes dry "hard" after I cleaned them in alcool, so that the bristles always keep their pointy tip. When used after that, I only have to "wake" the brush in alcool again and it's ready to go. However, I've only read here people carefully cleaning their brushes, first in alcool, then with soap, then with plain water, then dried/left to dry. Is it a bad practice to let it dry with alcool? Also, I'm currently only using fine synthetic brushes as I can't invest in expensive sable hair yet. What are the main drawback with synthetic brush, apart for durability? Thanks, Flo.
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