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I started to draw and paint this famous historical picture of Raising a flag over the Reichstag Berlin 1945, and I am stuck with the red flag and blue haze in the far background:

Raising a flag over the Reichstag Berlin 1945

I am using FaberCastell Polychromos 120 pencils:

FaberCastell Polychromos 120

I have spent hours of trial and error, using GIMP on Mac OS X, but continue to have difficulty with:

  • the entire red flag
  • the blue and gray haze in the far background

I was wondering whether someone could help me choose the right colors. Any advice would be appreciated.

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    This question might be better reworded to be more of a "How do I select a Faber-Castell Polychromos color based on an existing image?" That way the advice offered would help in the general color-matching process. – user24 Dec 30 '16 at 18:24
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    Reference for anyone who might answer: that pack is all 120 hues available [PDF] – user24 Dec 30 '16 at 18:30
  • While the "how to pick the right pencil colour" part makes for an interesting question (+1), it might be interesting to remember that the original photo is black & white, so one could argue that there is lots of room for artistic interpretation of "the right colour". – Stephie Dec 30 '16 at 21:29
  • Since you have an answer to your question before the edit, editing should not change the question so much that it invalidates the answer. As a side note, did you try the scratch paper tests John recommended? – user24 Dec 31 '16 at 16:46
  • Yes I tried so much with no success. I changed the question title because you asked me to do so and I am a newbie here on Arts & Crafts. My real question was that one I posted first – Pmpr Dec 31 '16 at 17:21
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There are a couple of ways that you can go about matching...

The first is trial and error testing on scrap paper. It's tried and true, really, because all you do is look at the color options in your set and get close, then work with additional blending with other colors to match up. Take notes. :)

The more "scientific" way is to use an application like Photoshop, The GIMP, or similar that you can use to color sample. Use the color sampler tool to get the value of the color and match it up with this chart: http://colour.granjow.net/fabercastell-polychromos.html and test the result on scrap paper.

Bear in mind that in many cases, you're likely to be layering one color over another, so the sampler may not always be accurate. Test and use your own judgement, always, before applying to your art piece. Make sure your scrap paper is the same as the paper you're using for your work.

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    To add to this answer, you can create custom palettes in GIMP and other image software to narrow down the available colours. Then you can apply that palette to the image and it will choose the closest colour. It will also choose a combination of colours if there isn't a single closest match. – Tara Hanratty Dec 30 '16 at 20:10
  • Thanks for you answer and the comment provided by @TaraHanratty, I installed the GIMP on Mac OS, but I do not know how can I extract layered colors on GIMP. – Pmpr Dec 30 '16 at 21:57
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    @Trix Graphic Design might be able to help you with the how-to on using GIMP for sampling. – user24 Dec 31 '16 at 1:54

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