This is a photograph of a 4 X 5 transparency shot in the late 1990s. I forget the year. Bruno Ratensperger from Connecticut took the picture.
When it comes to detail, you want to accentuate the work you’d like appreciated. That means during the process you must over-accentuate some of it. Most of it actually. Bicycle frames come with a sculptural dimension that’s easily covered by paint. Worse yet, paint can bury it. In the steps leading up to finishing a joint, an assembly, or any part of the whole, one must look at the work and imagine it under a coating. Paint, especially wet paint, fills in areas where the craftsman agonizes over the file strokes, and the curves, and the edges. The maker thinks of shape whereas the painter thinks of smooth. Since it’s never finished until the paint dries, the goal is to work an area to the point of knowing what it will look like once someone sprays over it.
I tend to use and overuse my small but aggressive barrette files to over-accentuate the work so that, when Joe Bell lays down the enamel, his contribution will more likely highlight the details rather than just turn everything another color and protect it from the elements.