I have seen a few crown dips over the past several years that
were really unique in that they had a marbling effect where there
is a base color and a contrasting color giving the dip a veined
appearance (see photo of finished arrow). At the PBS arrow building
contest in Seattle in 1998 there were several arrows with this
kind of dip.
I was curious as to how it was done and set out to find out.
Actually, I think it was Brian Cole who talked to one of the
arrow artists and discovered the method to make this unique looking
crown dip and it really isnt hard to do.
I start by putting on two coats of clear finish and a base
coat of white. Make sure that you have rubbed out the finish
with steel wool after each coat. Next, get a short dip tube or
you can even use a glass vase or jar to make your marble dip.
The secret is to float the paint on water and then dip through
the paint and water. The paint will float on the top of the water.
I am using a fast drying enamel called "Odds and Ends".
The paint needs to be thinned quite a bit until you get a real
runny consistency. If the paint is too thick you will end up
with globs of paint and air bubbles. Pour in your base color
first. In this example I am using yellow. Then slowly pour in
your contrasting paint (or paints if youre using more than
one color). As you are pouring it in let it come out in a small
stream and swirl it all around the base color. Once you have
done this mix it up a little, but not enough to totally blend
the two colors. Just take a tooth pick and swirl it around a
little. (See photo for mixed paint). Now you can dip your shaft
through the paint and water. You may have to dump this mix out
after a couple of shafts if the paint blends together and you
are no longer getting the marble effect. In the example shown
I used a combination of yellow and blue and ended up with a yellow/green
Experiment with different color combinations and use your
imagination for something that is really unique.