Sometimes when I work with an illustration with a swedish theme, I think about which colors represent Sweden the most, which are the most “swedish” colours. In my opinion Sweden is green! Green woods from one part of the country to the other, from dark green woods with green pines, green birches and green leafs to light green fields and green grass.
From green the landscape changes for a short period and explodes into bright orange and red in the autumn. But then quickly fades to greige for our six month of winter and snow!
Greige is also mostly all of our many concrete buildings and lots of city centers, all our roads, and frankly, a lot of our interior and clothing too. But also all rocks around the coast, and all pebbles, stones and old wood fences surrounding traditional farms and gardens. A beautiful mild greige colour.
But there is also lots and lots of blue! Blue as in the thousand lakes scattered all over Sweden, blue as the water surrounding almost the entire country, blue like all the archipelagos, all the blue rivers, creeks and canals. Blue as the big mountains near the north pole. And the big sky over our mostly very non-crowded nature where almost no one lives…
Green, blue and red also represents all our fruits and berries that we love so much. Apple, strawberry and wild wood strawberry, blackberry, cloudberry, lingonberry, blueberry, currant, rose hip and so on… Not to mention all our traditional red cottages, painted with Falu rödfärg.
Wood-green and sea-blue, combined with a dash of berry-red and snow-greige, that is Swedens colors! And how beautiful that is!
At a visit to Älvdalen in the north part of Dalarna earlier this year I took some photos just to remember all the richness of colours together. And now I feel really inspired to do some sketching…
Maybe design a new swedish folk costume in green-blue-greige with a dash of red! Instead of the really not flattering official swedish folk costume that is designed in big blocks of bright yellow and heavy blue, that is not flattering to anyone… not even royalties. A swedish pattern of some kind would also be nice to draw, and not in the strong yellow-blue color combination of our flag, but in the colours of our landscape.
That is also the colours of our two moste beloved holidays. Christmas is a green birchtree with red decorations and white/greige snow. Midsummer festival is a pole decorated with green leaves and summer flowers preferably surrounded by traditional red painted buildings.
I have to stop now… ;-)