Sketchbook: Sargent at the Met

sargent at the met sketch by Beverly Brown

The other day I visited the exhibit “Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.It was my third visit to this extraordinary show, which focuses on the paintings John Singer Sargent made of his close circle of creative friends, many of whom were famous – Claude Monet, Henry James, Auguste Rodin, Gabriel Faure. Famous friends aside, what really makes this show […]

Fire Island Plein Air

A dreamy sea view from Fire Island, a barrier island off the coast of Long Island, NY. This painting was painted en plein air on my iPad. © Beverly Brown

The other day our friends invited us to visit them on Fire Island, a beautiful barrier island off the coast of Long Island, New York. The dreamy sea view from their deck was quite spectacular and I was inspired to take out my Ipad and make this plein air painting.

Sketchbook: Lincoln Center at Night

Lincoln Center at Night by Beverly Brown

New York City in August has a reputation for being hot and smelly. A place to escape from. But summer in the city has its advantages. The city is a lot less crowded. And in the cool of the evening, when the lights come on, the atmosphere can be magical. Here’s an August evening view (from my sketchbook) of Lincoln […]

Watercolor Flowers Step By Step

Impressionist Watercolor Flowers Step by Step - Beverly Brown

The other day, my friend Arvind, a gifted photographer who has recently taken up drawing and painting, asked me how I go about painting watercolor flowers. I’m not sure I was helpful in answering his questions, but it occurred to me that some of you might be interested as well.  Here is a step-by-step guide to my process. […]

The Lavender Dress

lavender dress fashion art print

Inspiration is everywhere. I painted this watercolor a few weeks ago. It’s based on a sketch I made at the Society of Illustrators here in NYC. The model’s dress was pale yellow (I recall), but as you can see, my nail color that day apparently influenced my paint palette. In any case, I named this painting, “The Lavender Dress.” And here is the lavender […]

In My Studio with Cosmos

cosmos flower watercolor sketches

The other day I was at the Union Square Greenmarket near closing time. A woman rushed by me carrying several bunches of beautiful Cosmos, like huge sprays of wildflowers. I was determined to find that vendor and buy some. Within a minute or so I found him packing up his tent for the day. A small number of bouquets remained on his […]

Drawing from Life

Drawing from Life - Beverly Brown

One of the things I enjoy about living in a big city is the access to life drawing opportunities. In NYC, life drawing sessions take place virtually every day, hosted by art schools or groups of artists, where you can just drop in and sketch.  While drawing from photos is useful, there is nothing better (or more […]

Rather Abstract Rose Paintings

Abstract Rose Painting Dark and Light Pink

Every June I’m inspired to paint roses. The only problem is painting roses has always vexed me.  All those layers of petals somehow distract me from capturing the shape of the rose, the feeling of a rose. I get caught up in the details instead of paying attention to the overall effect. The key is to simplify the flowers down to their essence. […]

Sketchbook: China Through the Looking Glass

China Through the Looking Glass

I recently visited the “China Through the Looking Glass” exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art here in NYC. It’s a bit of a multi-media extravaganza, but nevertheless a feast for the eyes. The show is a collaboration between the Met’s Costume Institute and Department of Asian Art. High fashion is on display next to traditional Chinese costume, decorative arts, […]

Quick Fashion Sketches of Dresses

Fashion Sketches by Beverly Brown

The other night I attended the New York Society of Illustrators sketch night – a live fashion drawing event where all the poses were limited to 7 minutes or less. Most model drawing classes are run in a similar way, with very short poses leading up to longer poses. As I quickly made my fashion sketches, I was reminded of what a pleasure it is […]

Sketchbook: NYC Easter Parade 2015

nyc easter parade sketchbook Beverly Brown

The NYC Easter Parade & Easter Bonnet Festival is one of those eccentric “only-in-New-York” events that makes me grateful to live here. Unlike many parades, where the floats are the focus, the Easter parade is all about the people who dress to be seen and wear THE most fabulous bonnets – many made by hand. Their dogs dress up too! […]