French visitors and a colour challenge


Last Sunday, I had the great pleasure of spending the day with Liliane Marchois and her group of French watercolour painters and sketchbook users (or carnet de voyage, I believe is the preferred French term) at Stockholm´s outdoor museum Skansen. We had a great day, with only a tad rain (though a bit windy – you could feel autumn is coming along), and some great views to sketch.

Merci, tout le groupe (toute la groupe? je vous l´ai dit – j´ai oublié toute la grammaire Francaise…), pour m´inviter pour une journée très agréable et pleine d´inspiration!

tellusborgsvagen_130922During the dinner in the evening, I got a little challenge from Liliane, to make a sketch using only two complementary colours. I was going to take on the challenge the very next day, but work and other stuff prevented me, and I didn´t get it done until today. I would have loved to do a wider view in this street, but the wind was too cold, so I had to limit my sketching time a little, and finished the colouring at home.

It is interesting to work with only two complementaries. In a way, it is easier than using the whole palette, because you don´t have to make so many choices. But it is also tricky to ignore the actual local colours of things, and try to concentrate on value alone. A good exercise, for sure.

(I had a bit of a problem with scanning this image – the scanner simply didn´t accept Schmincke´s Chrome Orange, it came out almost red. I had to use all of my Photoshop tuning skills to get a rough resemblance to the actual sketch here… Sometimes digital equipment just doesn´t get it, does it?)



Top image: 27 x 21 cm, bottom image: 13,5 x 21 cm, TWSBI Diamond 580 with Platinum Carbon ink and watercolours, in Stillman & Birn Alpha series sketchbook.

11 Responses to “French visitors and a colour challenge”

  1. Isa says:

    Vous avez du passer une belle journée ! Jolis couleurs malgré ton problème de scan :)

  2. Jody says:

    Hi Nina, your blog is most enjoyable, inspirering and educational. Thank you for doing it. What is the pigment number of Chrome orange? Could it be the same as permanent orange Daniel Smith PO 62?

  3. Kaisa says:

    Oh, how I would love to sketch with you! I like your use of colour and I really could use a lesson or two. :) I feel that I’m getting nowhere with colours…

    Funny thing that scanner. You would think that any colour is just colour to the machine but obviously not. But then again, even us humans don’t see the same colour in the same way – or so they say. :)

    • Well, Sweden and Finland aren´t that far apart, who knows, maybe we´ll meet to sketch one day? :)
      Scanners are tricky. Still, this one (an EPSON) is way better than the old one, which did strange things with all blues and blue-greens. I could never really find a good way to fix those images – it seems to be even harder to do with scanned watercolours than with photos – so in the end I replaced the scanner. This is the first time I encountered a problem of this kind with the EPSON.

  4. Great response to the challenge.

  5. Hej Nina,

    Hur gör man för att “följa” med dig i wordpress? Hittar inte “knappen”! : )
    Tack på förhand!


    • Hej Helen!
      Om det är ett RSS-flöde du vill ha tag på, så finns det två små knappar ovanför fotot av mig i sidospalten. Den ena är till flödet av poster, den andra till kommentarer. Det är väl det sättet jag har på den här gamla bloggen att följa. :)

  6. corinne says:

    Enjoyed see the scenes of Skansen. Spent many weekends there as a child in the late 50’s. My Dad worked at the American Embassy, so we spent 4 years in Stockholm from 56-60. Visited again in the late 60’s early 70’s. Had to go see Skansen. Do they still have the ballon vendors in the zoo area? Always found the shapes and colors so beautiful.

    I check your site regularly to see if I recognize anything and to enjoy your work.

    Would love to return some day.

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