For aesthetic look, can the white skin that cover the sakura be dyed dark hot pink?
I’ve seen shamisen with paintings on the back skin in some pubs in the Tsugaru region, so it can be done.
If you are treating natural skins, you would want to be very careful with how you apply pigment (the dryer the better), as they are pretty sensitive even to changes in environmental humidity.
Synthetic skins would probably be harder to color, but much less likely to tear.
I painted a small figure on a skin that was already torn. I sewed up the rip, so it has a long Frankenstein scar on its surface, and a lot less tension than you’d find on a pristine skin.
Has anyone else tried this on an in-tact front skin?
Leather dyes are alcohol-based, so theoretically they wouldn’t kill the tension. However those dyes won’t work on rawhide, and I don’t know if shamisen skin is rawhide or tanned?
I just got my second-hand shamisen, complete with busted skins, so I will be experimenting with the remnants to see what can be done with that leather. I don’t have any leather dye, but I have alcohol markers, I’ll report back later