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  • Coloring Portraits

    Scrollers,
    I just finished my first attempt at a "portrait" (the Black Lab by Leldon Maxcy) which has generated two requests for projects and their associated questions:
    • The black lab was easy (black background), but now I was asked to cut the "Leaping Whitetail Buck" by Charles Dearing in the current issue of SSW. As I was looking at it, I was thinking of coloring the background as appropriate for the part of the picture (ie. blue for the water, tan for the buck, etc) as opposed to putting color on the top piece. Does anyone have any experience with that? Any ideas how that would look?
    • The second question is one that I'm sure has bounced around many times. I was also asked to cut another lab for a Christmas present. Since I'm not used to selling my work I have no idea what to charge. I'm not trying to do this as a business, but I also don't want to undervalue it in case the opportunity to enter the selling mode comes down the road. Anybody out there routinely sell these portraits that would like to share their pricing rationale?


    Appreciate the help. I'm sure the "pricing" question has been bantered about ad nauseam but a quick search didn't help much. Maybe I'm not looking at it the right way. Thanx for the help.

    Bruce
    Bruce
    . . . because each piece will be someone's heirloom someday.
    visit sometime
    Hawk 220VS, Delta 40-570

  • #2
    Originally posted by millwab
    Anybody out there routinely sell these portraits that would like to share their pricing rationale?

    Bruce
    Hi Bruce,
    Let me preface this by saying that I stack cut everything I make and for me this is a business. Pricing is always a question that comes up. The way I price everything is labor + material + margin. I use 33 cents a minute for labor and 30% for margin. I can only guestimate the lab portrait as I haven't cut it, but it looks like it would sell for me in the $20 - $30 price range (in 8X10).
    Kevin
    Scrollsaw Patterns Online
    Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671

    Comment


    • #3
      Bruce - As I am relatively new to serious scrolling (20+ hours per week as a hobby) I have no interest in making it a business at this time. However, for anyone, outside the family, who requests a project I ask for reimbursement of materials plus a couple $$. (Would this now be called a business)?? They are happy and I am happy. Especially since I get to buy more material for more projects. This is from a hobbiest's perspective. ~Paul

      Paul S.

      Comment


      • #4
        Bruce,

        Have you thought about asking the person that placed the order how much they expected to pay for a handmade work of art?

        That should give you an idea of the price bracket to charge. The others have given you a good idea.

        Don't forget to include your finishing time in the equation: sometimes finishing is longer than cutting

        Regards,
        Marcel
        http://marleb.com
        DW788. -Have fun in the shop or it isn't a hobby anymore.

        NOTE: No trees were killed in the sending of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by millwab
          Scrollers,
          • The black lab was easy (black background), but now I was asked to cut the "Leaping Whitetail Buck" by Charles Dearing in the current issue of SSW. As I was looking at it, I was thinking of coloring the background as appropriate for the part of the picture (ie. blue for the water, tan for the buck, etc) as opposed to putting color on the top piece. Does anyone have any experience with that? Any ideas how that would look?
          • Bruce
          Bruce - I haven't tried it myself, but there is no harm in painting your backer board as you mentioned, and placing your fretwork over it. If you don't like the way it looks, then just repaint it black!

          I will leave the pricing question to others - just a note though, that once you set a price, others may come looking for the same at the same price. So make sure you price it accordingly - do you want to do 10 of the same item and sell them for $5 each??
          Theresa E
          Theresa

          http://WoodNGoods.weebly.com

          http://woodngoods.blogspot.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanx for your replies.

            Theresa, repainting would always be an option. I was hoping this wasn't an original idea and someone in scrollerdom had some experience with multiple colors in the background. Always helps to hear from someone who's done it.

            Marcel, good advice. However, the person asking is just as clueless about what a fair price would be as I am. We'd probably get into a continuous loop of "I don't know, what do you think"! I think I'll just have to come up with a number and stick with it.

            Paul, I'd probably have to go with what it would cost to buy all the materials outright since I have everything in the shop as left overs from other projects.

            Kevin, thanx for the insight. It is a tremendous help. One of the problems with my approach to scrolling right now is that I'm never in a hurry to cut anything (since it isn't a business). I haven't developed the quickness to cut things out time-efficient yet. Maybe down the road. In the meantime, having an idea of what someone like yourself would charge helps me put it into perspective and indirectly gives me a way to value my time. If it's priced right, I'll do better (in terms of dollars) when I develop the quickness.

            Bruce
            Bruce
            . . . because each piece will be someone's heirloom someday.
            visit sometime
            Hawk 220VS, Delta 40-570

            Comment


            • #7
              Meanwhile . . .

              . . . back to the original question. Has anyone ever used multiple colors on the background of a portrait? Other than the potential tediousness of the masking, are there any other problems/concerns in doing this?

              Bruce
              Bruce
              . . . because each piece will be someone's heirloom someday.
              visit sometime
              Hawk 220VS, Delta 40-570

              Comment


              • #8
                Bruce,
                I'm just a rookie here , but i have had some good success with plain ol' paper. Heavy bond typing paper, spray painted and then sprayed with gloss or semi acrylic. I have done some mutiple-color stuff ....a red rose with green leaves and stem for example . What I do is to spray the middle of the paper as large as I need it and using pieces cut from another copy of the pattern as a template, cut out the shape slightly larger than the section I want colored ( no masking that way ). When finished attach the entire peice to a backer board (stained or painted) to protect the paper from tearing. As I stated in an ealier post however, I am not sure what the longevity of the paper in this application would be. It has worked for me short-term but I can't speak for it long term ...heck, as a scroller i'm not even long-term
                BTW I cut that lab also. It was my first complicated pattern and a booger-bear for me as a rookie, but I thouroughly enjoyed it and even cut it again with a black silk backer for my mom for Mother's day ...do you have a picture of yours ?
                ...~Robert~
                DW788 and Hawk 226

                " Please let me grow to be the man my dog thinks I am "

                Comment


                • #9
                  Colored Backers

                  I used red and green felt as a backer for a rose overlay I made for a jewelry box a couple years ago. Worked out real well. I sprayed the back of the overlay with adhesive and pressed it onto the felt. Gave it to Betty's grandaughter for Christmas that year and it still looks nice.
                  If it don't fit, don't force it....get a bigger hammer!!

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                  • #10
                    Go to your local craft store , Ac moore or Micheals and check out the scrapbooking papers. The selection of textures and colors for backgrounds are amazing.
                    Rolf
                    RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
                    Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
                    Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
                    And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi Bruce,

                      I just started scrolling about 1 1/2 months ago and asked some of these same questions regarding selling the work. Everybody has different answers, depending on their situation and type of community. This is meant to be a hobby for me but it sure adds to the enjoyment to be able to sell a few things. All I do at this time is portraits around 8 X 10. I try not to think about how long I spend on a project. If I can make a few bucks along with a compliment or 2, I'm thrilled. I have been charging $15 or $20 per portrait, depending on the amount of detail. I know my town very well and if I tried to get more than $20 I wouldn't sell anything. I may only be averaging $5 per hour but watching the boob tube doesn't pay this well. All the money I receive from my work is going into a special envelope, hidden from the wife of course. I will pull out 15% for my estimated cost of supplies and when my envelope is fat enough, I will probably upgrade my equipment. I rarely stack cut because most of my sales are special orders. If I cut 2 or 3 of everything I would have way too much junk sitting around. Basically, I show my work wherever I can and tell people I am open to requests. I will sell more that way than having a table filled with all kinds of portraits. Everyone likes something different it seems but dogs are really popular around here so I always have a few dog heads to show people and they ask for a different breed. I get their email address, search for a couple patterns and email them so they have a couple options. While typing this, I actually got an email from someone I emailed a pattern of a Westie Poo to and she liked it and now wants a Jack Russell Terrier too. She had previously bought a Boston Terrier from me and then requested a Pug. These were both for each of her sons. The other 2 are for her. She has loved them all. Maybe I should change my name to Dog Scroller.
                      Mike

                      Making sawdust with a Dremel 1680.
                      www.picturetrail.com/naturephotos

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Zach

                        Sawduster, here's how the lab came out. I did this for a friend who had to put his lab down after having him for almost 16 years. I've been there, and know it's a tough thing to do. Thought I'd do this to give him something to remember him by. I personalized it with the lab's name and dates.
                        Attached Files
                        Bruce
                        . . . because each piece will be someone's heirloom someday.
                        visit sometime
                        Hawk 220VS, Delta 40-570

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Zach

                          Bruce,
                          What a very special gift You did an absolutely awesome job on that !
                          Thanx for sharing the photo
                          ...~Robert~
                          DW788 and Hawk 226

                          " Please let me grow to be the man my dog thinks I am "

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hi Bruce -- Have you thought of trying gluing material on your backerboard . I have done it on a deer that had glitter in the fabric and some other cool stuff and it turned out well. I have also applied paint to my backer and then attached -- that is what I usually do now-- the choises are endless as to how you do your backer but if you use spray adheasive it will stay very weel - just apply it to the board and let it set a minute before applying you choise-- I thought about using a paper a few times then covering that with a clear spay lacqure but have kind of gotten inot boxes and ""usefull things" for a while-- Those I line with felt--just think of what you want to do and do it-- thinking causes headaches and if you think hard you may not ever get anything done -- just try it and it will work --
                            Sharon

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                            • #15
                              Hi Bruce, I color my backgrounds all the time. I just use cheep old acrilic paints, water based of corse. I try to download a pictuer i did. then i just glue the front piece right on top of the painted background. stays rell good. and then if you use laquor. it gives it a shin. and like the other gale said. you can always cover it up with black if you don't like it. hope this helps. your friend Evie
                              Attached Files

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