Monday, August 25, 2008

A lot of red

This weekend I sketched some old buildings again. If you come to Sweden you would see that many houses, especially in the countryside are painted in red. It´s quiet striking and suits the landscape both in summer and during winter when we certainly can need some colors. Ok, here comes a history lesson again so stop reading if it bores you. About three or four hundred years ago most houses up in the north were in timber and unpainted. By time they became grey and didn´t look very uplifting. The more fortunate had the privilige to build their homes in stone or brick material as they did further south in Europe. This became very fashionable and families less well off started to paint their timber houses in red to make them look at least somewhat like the brickhouses. It started out in the cities but since the paint was expensive many painted only the wall towards the street. There are still places where you can see this.

The paint they used and we still use is called Falu redpaint. It´s pigment comes from the copper mine in Falun in Dalarna and contains about 20 different minerals which creates this excellent color. It has a very warm nuance to it that looks great both in sunshine and in the shadow. Later it became very affordable and everyone was able to paint barns and houses with it.
The red building in the upper drawing is from Lidköping. The house in the big, big square was originally a hunting lodge or "castle" from 1600-something. It was built and used by one of the richest counts in Sweden during this time. I have painted his castle too and I will publish it later. His name was Magnus Gabriel de la Gardie and he was ridiculously rich. A soldier and a handsome player and the queens favourite. Well, today his old hunting lodge is a café and a tourist centre but it is a very nice building isn´t it. In the drawing below you can see some old houses that was spared during the big fire in Lidköping 1849. Almost all our towns that were mainly built in wood have been devistated by big fires during the centuries. It´s amazing that anything at all is left.


Felicity said...

I've always loved the Scandinavian style houses so I'm amazed that beautiful red colour is from copying nasty red brick houses! Looks so much nicer on wooden houses.

Carol C said...

I love your illustrations and the history lesson just adds to my appreciation of your art!--Carol C.

gabi campanario said...

how have I missed your sketchblog! fantastic work christina, will be coming back!

beckasharpe said...

It's interesting to learn a bit about what's behind the drawings. I really like the colours and your drawing style, they give a real warmth and lifelike feel to the pictures.

Christina´s sketchblog said...

Thank you all for stopping by and commenting on my drawings. I´ll try to keep up with my postings despite my workload and the fact that autumn is starting to creep up on us.
All the best!