I finished the roof of the Dixie Manor (the custom Pierce) yesterday and am so pleased with it that I had to post a pic. Isn't that pretty! The tower roof isn't glued on yet, but it's all ready to do so. As I was finishing the roof yesterday it occurred to me that I was becoming very familiar with each shingle. I mean, I was moving along with my paint brush, already knowing which shingle I would be coming to next.
When that happens, it tells you that you've spent a LOT of time with those shingles! I used octagon shingles so each butt had to be trimmed individually so they were nice and smooth. This is a delicate house so there couldn't be any rough edges on it. We can't have a Southern Belle with a five o'clock shadow! Anyway, after they'd been trimmed they were all glued on the roof and that took about a week.
Did I mention that the Pierce has the largest roof of any Greenleaf house except for the Garfield? And the Pierce roof is one of the focal points of the house so it's important that it makes a statement. My client chose the "iced lilac" scheme that I used on my French Cafe which delighted me because that scheme is *so* perfect for the Pierce.
But I digress (again, or as usual). I'm not sure exactly how many shingles are on the Pierce but I know that the number is up in the thousands. It's not the quantity that caused it to take so long to shingle, it's my obsessive Virgo personality. Sometimes that goes a bit too far. Among my tools on the table were my regular ruler with the distance between rows taped off so I'd get each row perfectly spaced.........my quilter's ruler so I'd be sure to get each row straight............my carpenter's level so I could double check that they were straight........my seamstress ruler with the little slide thingy so I could double check the distance between rows...............well, you get the idea. Yes, I'm OCD but I'm okay with it. LOL!
After the shingles were all on, I started the painting. I used a greenish-grey was for the base coat to pop the grain in the birch. Greenleaf birch shingles kick ass when it comes to beautiful grain and I make the most of that. After the greenish-grey came another wash of blue-grey. The blue-grey is in the same tonal family as the iced lilac on the body of the house but quite a bit darker. I hand mix all my colors to be sure that they're just right and the combination of these two was a marriage made in heaven. So the blue-grey went on as the foundation color for the roof and then I let the washes dry overnight. The shingles lift and curl just a teeny bit which gives them a gorgeous realistic appearance. It's kind of like the way Rik Pierce does shingles in paperclay, using the little lifts here and there to give a roof texture and depth. That's why I use washes instead of stain or dye on this type of roof.
The next step was to add in the primary color on the roof which is the same lavender as the trim. I dry brushed that over each shingle, sometimes using a rag to rub it in and sometimes leaving it a bit streaked to give it a bit of texture. The final step was to go back around the roof one more time with a dry brush of dark grey to add in the shadowing.
Four layers of paint on every shingle, but omg, it's so worth it! This is a technique that Tracy Topps uses on many of her houses with wood shingles and I love the look. One of my "artistic things" is to always blend paints so they look soft and natural so this technique is definitely one of my favorites. I sometimes do a variation using stain for the undercoat and dry brushing one or two colors over it (like my Brimbles, my Houseboat and my Adams) It just works for me, ya know.
I'm very happy with the way this looks on Dixie Manor. The interior is all in pastels so this delicate blending of soft colors pulls the whole house together. And it's almost finished! All that's left to do on the house is add the gingerbread and then go around it with a magnifying glass to see where I need to do any touch ups to the paint. After that will be the landscaping.
My favorite part!
There's another storm system moving in and my body isn't taking kindly to it. My hands (and the rest of my body) are telling me to go curl up in the recliner with the cat and a warm blanket and move as little as possible. I think I'll turn on some quiet music and go do that now. See y'all in a couple of days!