Monday, July 9, 2012

1780's French Decor with Courting Couples

Here is another fun scene I put together using a variety of 1780's images 
representing two "Courting Couples.

I've recently read the novella "The Duchess of Love" by Sally MacKenzie and have to say I loved it!
I was a big fan of her Regency Romance "Naked" series and I'm already a fan of the new series.

When I look at this scene I can't help but think about the story "The Duchess of Love" since these characters remind me of the four main players in the novella.  The story takes place at an undisclosed time similar to these figures; since in the story, the Duke makes a comment that he does not like to powder his hair since it makes him sneeze.  The younger couple to the left symbolize Andrew Valentine, the Duke of Greycliffe (age 21) and his soon to be Duchess Venus Collingswood (age 19); while the scholarly couple to the right are better suited to be the duke's cousin Mr Nigel Valentine (age 28) and Venus' older and studious sister Aphrodite "Ditti" (age 23).  

It's a fun little read and a great start to the first full book in the series "Bedding Lord Ned
which takes place 30+ years later and is about one of the Duke and Duchesses sons (Edward aka Ned).  I hope you give them both a try.

Courting Couples
Naturally I'm constantly tinkering with my vintage images to put my own personal "stamp" on them as you will. Many times the images I acquire are extremely old so they have imperfections and are in need of some TLC and restoration before I can think about posting them.  Some plates I have are even in too rough a condition to attempt to make presentable so I'm especially thrilled when I'm able to salvage not so pristine image and give it a new life.

The images used in this scene are good examples of aging figures that I was able to resurrect into the final products you see here and have been able to see on previous posts.  For instance the original of the room background was not attractive in the least but with a lot of TLC it made it to see another day and I believe have restored it to a state closer to what it may originally have looked like.

EKDuncan restored version of the original Nov 1789 "Magasin des Modes Nouvelles, Francaises et Anglaises" image
Nice as this plate came out, I still found the original image a bit lacking in appeal for modern use so I took it another step further as I do with most of my png's and EKDuncan altered images, till I arrived at this new result.

My EKDunca version based on the cleaned up vintage 1789 image
 I wanted more dimension in the rooms setting so I created it to the wall panels appear recessed, added shadows to the curtains, mantelpiece and all the mouldings, columns and plaster work  around the room.  I altered colors since that is one of my favorite things to do and I added in a new ceiling, since I honestly could not get the original cleaned up enough to satisfy myself.  Even with all the work I put into it there are still several issues here and there but for me that adds a bit of rustic charm back into the mix - besides there comes a point when you have to say enough is enough   - grins.

Once I had the room in a way I liked it I started playing with color combinations to see how it changed based on the pallet choices I made.  Here are my remodeling efforts for this image.

Blue and Beige Version

Pink and Grey Version

Periwinkle Version

Lilac Version

Gold Version

Green and Yellow Version

Green Version

Sea-foam Version - I choose this one for my scene

Blue Version as a png so a new background or other images can be placed behind the windows.

 Here is an example of what you can do now that the windows are "open"
1880's French Fashion and Room plate and 2 landscape images from Ackermann's Repository
I call this scene "Watching from the Window", since we have 
the couple looking in and the lady looking out.
The Lady at the inside window looking out can be found HERE

 Now back to the original scene from the top of the post 

Courting Couples
The Lady to the far left and several color versions of her can be found HERE
Her young escort in various shades of finery can be found HERE

The conservative fellow on the right can be found HERE
And his shy companion with her pretty ribbons can be found HERE

The Two Pictures on the back wall can be found HERE

And the sofa to the back wall is another image I really liked, 
so I created it also in a variety of color combinations and here they are.

Teal with Gold Wood Trim

Green with Light Wood Trim

Aqua with Light Wood Trim

Brown with Light Wood Trim

Raspberry with Light Wood Trim

Plum with Gold Wood Trim

Green with Gold Wood Trim - used in the scene

I think this sofa is so very pretty. I'm sure it was not much fun to sit on.
Still, I would have loved to have owned one myself.


 This wraps up the current images I have for the 1780's.
I'm about to go on vacations for a few weeks and will try and work on getting some other great images ready to post for you; however I have a feeling I'll spend most of my time sightseeing and reading my NOOK at night, so it may be a while till you hear from me again - but I will be back.

I'm off to find out what's going on with Ned as I continue to read my 
NOOK book version of  "Bedding Lord Ned" by Sally Mackenzie.
I think the old boy is starting to come to his senses where Ellie is concerned.

Till Next Time...



  1. Hello,

    Oh la la la, great colors!!! I like so much the scene of Couting Couples... with two small pictures on the wall, it's so delicate. The artists of that time would also be amazed to see your creations, as we are of theirs too.

    Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Sylvie

      Thanks so much sweetie. I do like to play with my colors as you well know. I could not resist taking those two "hat ladies" from and earlier post and putting them on the wall, so I'm glad you liked them too.

      I think the artist of that time would be thrilled to know their art still survives and is being used today. Sadly you know they did not get a lot of money for creating the artwork back then and neither did the the people who hand colored each and every one of those plates. I'm so happy that a little piece of them continues even if we don't know who they were.

      Thanks for letting me know you like the posts. I've got many more still to come and hope to have the next post up in a few weeks.


  2. Evelyn you did it again, fantasique, tre enchante, this would be great in a small shadow box or cigar box. I think you are going to be a big influence on me, I must look into the books you are mentioning that keep your mojo moving. Thanks for some more great sources to get me going.
    Have a happy and safe holiday and I look forward to your posts after you get some good r and r.

    1. Thanks so much MissMacyMay

      Believe it or not I have about 30-40 (I've got so many I've lost count) cigar boxes in my home of all types (we have a cigar store close by where I get them for 50 cents to 1.00 a piece so I stock up when I find cool ones) And I bought them to create "peep" shows & mini toy theaters with but just have not got around to it - so great minds think alike.

      I spend so much time creating digitally and getting vintage images ready to post that I just have not had time to create the 3D art pieces that float around in my head.

      I bet you could make some really fun 3D pieces before I ever get round to it (giggles) so I do hope you give it a whirl. One of the things I love about the art world is how we all influence each other, so thanks for the great compliment.

      I live in NC and am heading to Wyoming. It should be a most entertaining trip. I've got a feeling I'll return worn out rather than relaxed but I do like a good adventure (grins).