Once the wood is bent, it will look like hell. Mine looked burnt (but they weren't), some grain lines were really dark, others not so much, and the once smooth wood was now rough and "fibery" looking. Sap from deep within had come to the surface, and there were nasty water marks meandering everywhere. I even split the end when I first started (I stopped that piece and super glued it to stop the split--that worked perfectly--and it will get trimmed off later anyway). Since I'm back-posting these blog entries, I can tell you now that after the sides are assembled and scraped smooth, all of those imperfections disappear and the sides look beautiful.
The above pictures show both sides, after they've dried, just sitting there waiting to be trimmed and fitted. The lighter sap wood on the top edge of the sides will be trimmed away eventually.