This piece came to fruition from Etsy - a customer contacted me about my skyline listing and wanted to combine two cities into one piece. The groom (her brother) was from Chicago, and the bride-to-be was from Bangkok. The challenge she gave me was to incorporate orange into the piece, as that was their wedding color. Orange is not a color that lends itself to typical wood colors; sorry Cleveland Browns, your team colors are terrible!
I chose poplar as you can find it with more white/green/black/purple colors rather than red and brown. It's really an underappreciated wood. I found three good boards after visiting three different shops that had the coloring I was looking for. You can see the top piece has a great knot and black/purple streaking, so I knew I wanted that to be my sky.
I probably spent more time worrying about how these three boards should line up than I did on any other aspect of this design. I tried to pay attention to the grain, and how each piece looks compared to the next. Once I finally got done putting that together, it was time to join the wood (used biscuits for this) and then glue up with all of my clamps. I need more clamps!
Next, it was on to the actual painting. I designed the Chicago skyline based on specific buildings that stand out. I printed out a very large picture of their skyline, and cut/pasted the buildings I wanted. I put tape over where the skyline would be, and traced out the buildings I wanted onto the tape. I then cut out the skyline by hand with a razor. I couldn't really do the same process with Bangkok as their buildings are curved. It's a real challenge to cut curved lines in wood. For this I used my die cast cutter with adhesive vinyl to cut out the bangkok skyline, as well as the font for the city names.
For paint, I used the ancient method of painting method known to some as "spray paint in an aerosol can." I wanted to add more depth to the piece than simply putting orange on there, so I added a gradient black at the base and a little white to highlight the tops of the buildings.
I did the same for the font:
Add a few coats of a satin polyurethane and I call it done! I believe this is my best piece to date (though I always think that!) Thanks for reading.