Enhancing and augmenting the original finish of a violin is an intricate art. The task involves preserving the aesthetic character of each violin in every hue and wood grain pattern. The original finish is re-created in retouching by carefully layering pigments and varnishes of varying colors and depths. Done well, the translucence of the touch-up is indistinguishable from the surrounding surface viewed from any angle, including reflections from various light sources.


This violin had an old, deep crack repair that needed to be retouching to match the hue and wear of the rest of the violin. To the right, the upper photo shows the sanded preparation, and the lower photo shows the retouched crack including re-creation of the old dark wear pattern.


Below: A re-touched edge repair
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This violin was given a neck regraft (left). The retouch involved replicating the woodgrain pattern as well as the wear pattern of the varnish (below).
The violin to the left had a poorly repaired crack. The crack was re-repaired correctly and the finished retouching of the same violin is shown to the right.

Double-click on the small box to the right for a 200% enlargement of the final retouching. Hint: it is just below the image to the right. Notice how close the detail work is done to the grain structure.

This series of photos shows a pegbox flank repair required to correct a pegbox crack. The photos show, left to right, placement of the maple flanking, reshaping of peg holes and colorization, then final touch-up.

Below is another example of violin retouching to a pegbox flank repair.

 

Above are before and after photos of a worn tail section of a viola. This is also a good example of retouching to match the original wear patterns.