Frank Benson’s Summer

189 Shares

Today’s inspiration: Summer by one of the American Impressionists, Frank Benson. You can almost feel the sun’s warmth and the crisp sea breeze.

Frank Benson, Summer, 1909
Frank Benson, Summer, 1909

Here are some key observations and takeaways: 

  • It was painted in oils, but it has a distinct, pastel-like finish. Oils are versatile like that.
  • There’s an interesting play between hard and soft edges. Hard edges give the painting that crisp appearance. Soft edges help our eyes transition throughout the painting.
Frank Benson, Summer (Edges)
  • Notice the interesting shapes and patterns created by the figures against the background.
Frank Benson, Summer (Shapes)
  • Color in the shadows. The subjects’ faces. The faces are vague, but the colors are stunning. Look at those marvelous reds and oranges and the subtle temperature transitions. This color work reminds me of Joaquín Sorolla’s beach paintings.
Frank Benson, Summer, 1909 (Color in Shadows)
  • The lines of vision are implied lines that help direct our attention throughout the painting. We want to look where the subjects are looking. Three of them look inwards in conversation. One looks out over the ocean.
  • The land creates a strong diagonal line. This is the foundation of the painting.
  • Small flowers and subtle color changes inject life into the foreground. It reminds me of Sir Arthur Streeton’s work, who would use a few intricate details to bring the rest of his vague brushwork to life.
Frank Benson, Summer (Details)
  • The land and sky create a sense of atmospheric perspective. Notice how the colors get cooler and lighter.
  • The ocean has a beautiful color gradation, from turquoise to cobalt blue.
Frank Benson, Summer (Gradation Sea)
  • Trees partially frame the left and right sides.

Thanks for Reading!

Thanks for taking the time to read this post. I appreciate it! Feel free to share with friends. If you want more painting tips, check out my Painting Academy course.

Happy painting!

Dan Scott
Draw Paint Academy

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
189 Shares
Pin173
Share16