Patricia Bennett


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cats and Van Gogh.

Cats on a Starry Night, not done, 18x24", acrylic on canvas, Patricia Bennett
These cats aren't done yet, but they finally have a background.  They are commissioned, and the purchaser and I decided that Starry Night behind them would fit their pose and personality...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Corporate Portrait study...

Today my model for the Corporate portrait came and we discussed his pose.

We looked at portraits by Ronald Sherr, Raymond Kinstler, and Silverman to get ideas.

Ultimately we decided for a light background with gradations from light to dark, not too much detail.  He'll probably sit and hold his glasses and look directly at me.  I want to capture his personality as much as possible, and this seems to fit him.

I took some photos, and will do a very detailed study of his face.

Since the ultimate portrait will be large (30x40"), it's careful planning (as if this is a chess game).  The first step is to figure out the design.  Then I'll do a small mock-up of it to see how it works.  And I'll do some detailed studies of his face in the meantime.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Lady on Futon

This is a painting I started tonight. I was inspired by a painting at the National Gallery of Art. We went there today to see the Bellows exhibit (which was sensational).

Lady on Futon, 18x24, acrylic on canvas, Patricia Bennett

Block in, Lady on Futon, 18x24, acrylic on canvas, Patricia Bennett

Sketch, Lady on Futon, 5x7, graphite, Patricia Bennett

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Cylburn Solstice in the City, sold.

Someone purchased this today.  After expenses, I'm donating half of the proceeds to the Cylburn Association.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Small Studies for Corporate Portrait and Sargent Copy

Sargent Copy, Patricia Bennett, 5x7, acrylic on paper
 My daily Sargent painting copy.
Two Ideas for Corporate Portrait, acrylic on paper, Patricia Bennett
I'm getting ready to do a 30x40" portrait of a corporate executive.  These are a couple of pose ideas.  The dark background is classic, but doesn't quite work for me.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cylburn Solstice Event Painting

Cylburn Solstice Event Painting, 24x30, acrylic on canvas, Patricia Bennett
 I am eager to share what I did tonight.  I painted the Solstice Event at Cylburn tonight from 6pm to 9pm (when the sun went down).  The entire painting was done live.

People seemed to really enjoy watching my progress from a grey canvas to the final painting.

Photo of Cylburn Solstice Event with painting, Patricia Bennett
The above is a photo as the event was winding down.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Back of Girl

11x14, Girl Back, in progress, acrylic on paper, Patricia Bennett

I started this yesterday at the model session at Zoll's.  Below is the preliminary sketch. 
Preliminary sketch for Girl Back, 5x7", graphite on paper, Patricia Bennett

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Mount Washington Improvement Association Live Painting

Mount Washington Improvement Association Party, 24x36, acrylic on canvas, Patricia Bennett
This was painted live on Saturday, June 9 from 5:30 to 8.  It was a lot of fun.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Sunset Cocktails at the Four Seasons

Sunset Cocktails at the Four Seasons, 24x30, Patricia Bennett, acrylic on canvas
Here is the painting, more on the process later with photos.

It was very sunny and hot, and the sunset happened in the final five minutes.  The view is stunning off of the rooftop.

Friday, June 8, 2012

4 Seasons

Tonight I did a 24x30" painting at the "Sunset Cocktails" event at the 4 Seasons Hotel in Baltimore.  I will post images later.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Juliana, 14x17, acrylic on paper, Patricia Bennett

This is the second sitting on Juliana.  It was lots of fun.  She sat very still.

Today I cleaned up things, eliminated the yellow, added a rose and a small nose ring and a necklace.  She likes green and requested a green shirt.  So, it's green now.

The dark background makes her face come forward more.

Juliana next to her portrait, a photograph, Patricia Bennett
Thank you Juliana!  She keeps the portrait, and I got the experience.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Juliana, first sitting

Juliana, first sitting, acrylic on paper, 14x18, Patricia Bennett

My neighborhood model sat for me today.  I got the drawing in, then started the painting.  She's coming back tomorrow.

Acrylic is a delicate balance between too thick and too thin.  Also, I will redo the background to make it "match" the shading on her face.  And the yellow that I covered the entire thing in is...  Not sure why I did that, except that she mentioned Australia.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Cousin, painted

Cousin Painted, 9x12, acrylic on paper, Patricia Bennett
I added paint on top of my drawing (the drawing was posted earlier on the blog).  Acrylic turns out to be pretty flexible for this style of painting.

Today we looked at Bonnat portraits at the Walters Museum.  Bonnat used small brushstrokes and powerful lights and darks.  His portraits are textural and very strong.

I also got photos of my model for a "corporate" portrait.  We're figuring out the pose.  It'll be 30x40.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Birthday Party

97 Years Old, 18x24, acrylic on canvas, Patricia Bennett
Grandma's birthday party.  She's in the center in the burgundy sweater.

I set up my easel and painted for a few hours.  The sun went down, and people went inside, and I continued to paint.  I drew grandma first, then the table, and then the flowers, and then other people one by one.

It is very challenging and fun to paint people who are moving.  Aunt Judith is merely an abstract blur.  Aunt Lynn decided to put on her sun glasses, so she's a profile.  Cousin Kyle left, so he is barely in there.  Grandma managed to sit still at the end, so I have a nice likeness of her.

Grandma loved the painting.  She said, "It's my party."  And she took the painting home with her.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Sargent copying

I have decided to actually post what I am "working" on every day.  Each day I copy a John Singer Sargent drawing, and one of his portraits.  JSS was a master of drawing, and a master of color.  I had a choice of many masters to copy, and I chose him.  Probably because he appeals to me more than Raphael and Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci and Durer.  He's more modern, lighter.  The hatchmarks on Raphael drawings are really meticulous.  

Artists generally either can draw easily, or they have a knack for color.  I can use color.  Drawing is not natural to me, and requires a lot of effort.  I tend to place noses in the wrong place, ears can find their way too high or too low...  The solution for me is to align the features using straight lines.  The corner of the eye must line up in a certain way with the mouth, and the corner of the nose.  Also, if the head is tilted, all of the features must fall a certain way...  

What I do have naturally is a lot of feeling.  It works its way into my drawings.

After Sargent1, Patricia Bennett

These are all copied from the Dover Sargent Drawing Book.  I go in chronological order.  Sargent spent various amounts of time on them.  The first one he probably did in a few minutes.  

I set a timer for 15 minutes so that I don't nitpick.  I sketched the outline in 15 minutes.  Then spent 15 minutes correcting my outline.  And then, the fun part, I examined the hatching and hair techniques and "copied" them.  His method of depicting hair and cloth reminds me of a book on how to draw trees and bushes in pencil.

After Sargent2, Patricia Bennett
 This one was copied in the same manner as the first one: 15 minutes for the outline, then 15 minutes for the corrections of the outline (I forgot to angle all of the features), then 15 minutes for the feature details.  I love the feature details.  Sargent's irises and eyelids and... everything, are drawn with exquisite precision.  Then, 15 minutes for the hair.
This drawing always makes me sad because the model died so young.
After Sargent3, Patricia Bennett
The "Madame X".  Yet another example of Sargent's drawing brilliance: the line is thick and thin, and so delicate and strong and simple.