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28 April 2013

Pimp My Skylark - Painting!

I've been doing a little more on my project to pimp my skylark ukulele. I know I should have maybe done some more work on preparing the uke, but I've been desperate to try out my new paints and paintbrushes!

This is the artwork I mashed up when I first
considered some Yusaku Hanakuma Ukulele Design
The artwork is unmistakably by my hero Yusaku
Hanakuma featuring one of my favourite of his
characters: Afro!

Here's what the ukulele design ended up looking like. I wanted the wood
background and also to retain the symbol - though I have no idea what
it means. I did a number of different designs, but this is the one that
I'm going to aim for with my Pimping. I considered getting a vinyl
transfer printed, but in the end after being told off by my Google+
buddies, I've decided to paint the picture directly onto the
ukulele. Am I up to such a challenge? Read on...

Good friend +shankti oviedo advised me to use Acrylic paints for this project. These
are what I've ended up with. For now, I'm only using the "mars black". Being
colourblind, I'm going to have some difficulty
getting the rest of the palette. My
daughter E-Uke has promised to help me out when the time comes for that. :-D
The paints are made by System 3.

These are the brushes I'm using. There's a good
selection, but I've only used the thinnest one so far.
The brushes are made by Royal Langnickel.

Here's the lacquer I'll be using. I've gone with acrylic to avoid any fun and games
over reacting with the paint. Have I been clever enough? I hope to test this theory
out before I lacquer the uke for real.

I know that you're probably wondering how things have gone with the painting, but first here's some pictures of some excitement I had sanding the body down.

See the strange mark I was trying to work out of the wood.
Look at the close-up. Am I the only one to see this?

It appears that I am the only person to see it. So I moved on to sanding the back...

Right... back to Pimping my Skylark!

I'm sure that there is a proper order to painting a ukulele, and it's probably
not the one that I've been following. First, I drew the design onto the front
of the ukulele in pencil. I did this by eye, referring to the image on my
laptop. I'll admit, that I was still a little bit dubious that I'd be able
to pull this off, but following some words of encouragement, I pressed
on regardless. So far so good!

Next I started painting in the black outlines. Bloody hell this was hard
work! I don't think I took a breath the whole time I was working on this.
I kept my hand steady and did the best I could. This is the result of
the first sitting. My intention is to colour in-between the lines. This is
probably back-to-front, and I should be outlining after colouring, but I
figured that it might be easier this way for me.

And here is what it looked like after the second sitting. I'm really pleased
with the end result. What I think I'll be doing next, is to colour. Then
I'll edge the front and sound-hole with a black line. Once I've done that,
I'm intending to do a very pale coat of wood stain to the front.

That's it for today. I'm getting all excited about the possibilities now! It's all starting to feel real! Chuffed to bits, I showed the uke design to Mrs Uke just now and she pointed at my prized Yusaku Hanakuma Zombie Highway print and asked me if I was copying that style.

"No... I'm copying an actual piece of Yusaku Hanakuma art," I explained.

"Is he dead?" she asked.

"I hope not," I replied.

"How old is he?"

"I don't know... In his thirties."

"Will he sue you?"


(awkward silence)

Yusaku... if you're reading this... please don't sue me.

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