"Bentsen" - Painting By Numbers

The original painting by S.Bentsen

A few years ago I came across some paintings from the artist S.Bentsen (at least according to his signature on his paintings). I have not been able to obtain any information concerning him, whether he is or was a  Scandinavian as his name may suggest (Danish?) or a US American as some of his paintings would suggest.

His (or maybe even her?) paintings of ships and the sea, being full of complementary colours, are a joy to view

and I decided to attempt to try and replicate the painting above with the aid of a Paint By Numbers template which is shown below.

This template has been generated by a computer program which requires instructions from the user before execution. One of the input requirements is in stating how many colours are to be used by the program.

For the template below, 20 colours were specified. The higher the number input, the more accurate the final painting will appear in comparison to the original. The drawback in specifying more than 20 colours is that for each colour spot scanned on the original, a colour field with its colour number will appear on the template, many of them being so small that their respective numbers cannot be read. Also the template will fill up with these

fields in a kind of "over-kill". It is therefore a compromise - too few numbers will not replicate the original to any extent, too many will make it impossible.

When the program scans the original it picks out the twenty most predominant colours and then uses these to

mark out the fields. There are more than twenty colours in the original and when scanning over these the program substitutes them with the closest colours to them from the twenty already selected.

The template below has DIN-A3 print dimensions. If you feel like painting the "Bentsen" yourself then it is imperative that you first read the instructions contained in the previous "Oceangoing" PBN as they also apply to this PBN!

Computer generated template

The Bentsen Palette has been replicated (x4) on the page above which when printed out will help you when

mixing colours against the originals. If the page becomes full of "mixes" then just print out a fresh page.

The template after filling in the number fields with the palette colours

Above, the template filled with the palette paints. Filling out the numbers can be tedious, especially at the start. I started with the bright large fields at the top of the template and worked downwards. It is best to do it just for a couple of hours maximum per day which prevents you from becoming tired and/or disheartened. Also, don't bother trying to fill in very small number fields. If you can clearly read the field number, then fill it in, otherwise give it a miss. If you persevere you will end up with the painting shown above. This is as good as the PBN  gets. You might be dissapointed

with the result but by touching-up the painting, which is easier than you might think, you can turn it into something

you can proudly hang on your wall.

Comparison of filled-in template (left) and original (right)

The touched up/tweaked final PBN

To touch-up your PBN you need the original painting as a reference by your side. In the "final" above I concentrated mainly on the 3-masted barque and on the yacht. It involves mixing a few new colours which are not

present in the 20-colour palette. Mainly for the hull of the barque, the stern of the yacht and some turqouise blue

for the sea. Giving the sails/masts etc of the barque a bit more structure and toning down some of the colours. Touching up the yacht a bit and taking some of the edges off some clouds.

To do this you will have to "Cross the Rubicon" - gather your courage and go for it. If you are painting with Acrylics and make a mistake, wait till the paint dries (about 10 minutes) and then paint it over. What you are now really doing is becoming an artist in your own right.

I could have continued "touching-up" the painting but I was not attempting to counterfeit the original - like trying to copy the "Mona Lisa" and then sneak into the Louvre and replace the original with it, Hi Hi !

Anyway, good luck to any of you who may attempt painting the "Bentsen" - Happy Sailing!!!

Comparison between the final PBN (left) and original (right)