Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Soldier Portrait

Hi there Loyal Reader! How have you been? Good? Oh, really? That's crazy... Please tell me more about that thing that you just said. We have so much to talk about. Would you like a cup of tea?

And with that catch up out of the way I think we can carry on, like before. I promise never to leave you again.

In the last few months I've been mostly painting men and dogs, separately:

The above painting was commissioned as a birthday present for the soldier featured by his wife. She was kind enough to provide some of the nicest feedback I've had in a while:

"Dear Luke

I wanted to say a very big thank you for the painting. It's really an amazing and stunning piece of work. My husband really liked it! There's been so many positive comments, and we've had friends and family saying how alike the painting is to the picture and mandeep himself! One friend had such positive comments about the shading and facial tones.

My family have also been very impressed with your work, and it seems that they might also request a painting in the near future. I'll let you know when they decide.

Thank you for all your work, and I just wanted to share the wonderful comments that your work has received.

Have a lovely weekend ahead!" 
- Kiran

To commission your own painting, please get in touch via

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Wedding Portrait Art

I recently was asked to produce a painting as a wedding gift. The painting was commissioned by the brother of the groom who, in his own words, could not get excited by the standard items on the wedding gift list. So, although his gift was a little late for the wedding itself, it was hopefully one of the more original presents that the bride and groom received.

The painting was based on one of the wedding photographer's photos. The original photo had more going on in the background, with guests excitedly watching the couple's first dance. However, I thought it would make for a nicer painting if the only focus was the newly married couple - as if they were the only people in the world for that one special moment. 

Consequently, I kept things simple and went for a black background with the spotlight on the couple's warm embrace.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Portrait of a Wedding

This recent pencil portrait was commissioned by a friend of the couple's children to celebrate their wedding day. Also as a loving tribute to the groom, who sadly was terminally ill at the time of the wedding. As such, it was quite an emotional piece to be involved in and I felt a weight of responsibility to do the photo and occasion justice. 

What I hope comes through is the happiness and affection from the day caught in the original photograph.

To commission a pencil portrait or to see more of my work, please visit

My Lovely Horse

Anyone familiar with Father Ted will be well aware of the song I had stuck in my head for a significant part of this painting...

Whilst, not being my horse, this was my first horse painting. That I can remember... I may well have painted a horse as a child in a very rudimentary fashion, given my love of cowboy films at a young age, but this has been my first horse painting as an adult. It's certainly my first pet portrait commission to feature three different animals in one scene. And a landscape.

For those reasons, it has in some ways been one of my most challenging commissions so far, and the most rewarding.

My customer wanted to surprise their loved one with a special birthday present featuring all three pets. However, there were no usable photos with all three animals in the one shot. I had to use a little artistic license therefore to produce a composite image. This license continued with the landscape, which I felt might look quite cool with a more stylistic interpretation.

Horse portrait

Horse and dogs portrait

Pet Portraits by Luke Bennett

I really enjoyed creating this piece, particularly painting the horse, as it was pretty new to me. I applied a fairly heavy gloss at the end as it seemed to suit the scene.

I received some genuinely lovely feedback too. As always, if you want to commission your own portrait - pet, human or otherwise - please do not hesitate to visit and get in touch!

Sunday, 6 March 2016

An Offer You Can't Refuse - Commission a Pencil Portrait!

This pencil portrait was commissioned recently as an 80th birthday present. It shows the birthday boy back in the 50s, looking a little bit like a member of the Corleone family*. I really like the end result, the image is quite striking and very evocative of the time.

Whilst the reference photo was a strong one in terms of look and character, the size of the image made the sketch a little more challenging, as there was not a huge amount of detail to work with. This meant that I had to use a lot of artistic license in order to make up for the lack of visual fidelity.

If you want to make me an offer I can't refuse, please get in touch via my website, where you can view more original artwork or commission a portrait.

*I'm certain the resemblance is purely superficial.

Pet Portrait - Coda the puppy

It's been a while since I've posted, but not for lack of arty output. I've kept my evenings busy for the last few months doing various commissions. One of my recent favourites is this acrylic on canvas puppy portrait of Coda, a cute little German Shepherd. I say 'little'... She's actually huge now, but just as cute.
The portrait painting was commissioned as a surprise gift from one of Coda's owners to the other.

I enjoyed this painting as I had free reign to make it as 'painty' as I wanted, so I happily slapped on the paint thickly and loosely. The result is a painting that looks different from every angle with the gloss reflecting boldly in the light off the highly textured surface.

If you are interested in commissioning a pet portrait, please visit my website,

Sunday, 10 May 2015

2b or not 2b? Actually, mainly 4b and 5b... Pencil Portraiture.

Above is a recently completed pencil portrait. It proved relatively challenging as the photo that I was using for reference was very small, blurry and lacked detail. Normally I'd avoid doing artwork from photos of a certain size or image quality, but sometimes as an artist you don't have the luxury of choice.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Views of Cumbria, Silverdale, Arnside and the Lake District. No vomit anywhere.

A few weeks ago I took the opportunity to visit my family up in Silverdale, Lancashire - an area of outstanding natural beauty. It's one of those parts of the world that hold a special place in my heart, as I strongly associate it with my childhood. 
For as long as I can remember, every summer holiday, my Mum, Dad, brother and I would visit my Granny and Grandad, who lived there. Last year my parents moved there too.

As a child, the three hour drive up the motorway would feel like a never ending journey, hellishly long; the tedium and monotony only interrupted by a strong desire to vomit. The desire to vomit only interrupted by actual, proper vomiting. 
As an adult, the tedium of the drive is still quite potent, but thankfully the demon carsickness has been vanquished.

My love of the countryside there, however, remains just as strong now as it was as a child. Below are some photos that were snapped on various jaunts around the local beauty spots.

One of the first of those jaunts was to the top of Arnside Knott. The views from the summit make the effort required to get there very much worthwhile:

Arnside Knott

Arnside Knott's view towards the Lake District

'God Rays' over the Arnside Coast

I've been reliably informed this is a White Galloway

I also took a wander around Warton Cragg, which, like Arnside Knott, hosts some great views of the surrounding Lancashire coastline:

Sunset as viewed from the top of Warton Cragg

Whilst up in t'north I decided to take the chance to go for a walkabout in the Lake District. Having had enough of driving that week (see above), I decided that I could only really be bothered to travel for about an hour. Thus I headed up to Windermere.
It was a very overcast, damp and foggy day, but there was a calmness in the air and the autumn colours remained bright and vibrant. I spent the entire afternoon pottering about the western side, near to Wray Castle. I must have walked for at least 7 miles in total:

Autumn in Windermere

I call him Winderdeer.


Windermere has a variety of interesting wave types, depending on what is in the water.

I'm guessing this exact photo has probably been taken about a million times already.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

There and Back Again: An Artist's Blog, By Luke Baggins (Bennett)...

Whilst not quite the 13 months that Frodo was away from The Shire, it has been a fair while since I last enjoyed the comfort of my trusty old blog.
Whilst I'd love to claim that in all those months I've been off vanquishing the lands of evil and darkness and making a positive contribution to the world of men, all-the-while avoiding the subtle but determined advances of my chubby best friend, that would be a lie.

The truth is that, regretfully, I haven't had the time or energy to devote to painting and drawing that I would have liked. Regular 12 hour days at work certainly haven't helped. But, for the immediate future, I now have more time on my hands than I know what to do with. As such I've decided to start doing more of what I love doing, resolving to take more photos, do more drawings, and to generally nurture and regain some creativity in my life.

The drawing below is the first result of that resolve, and the first sketch I've attempted in about 11 months. 

An original hand drawn pencil sketch of every Tolkien fan's favourite villain, Gollum, as depicted by Andy Serkis in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings and Hobbit film trilogies.

I think in total it probably took between 5 and 8 hours, although I'm not totally sure as that was spread out over a number of evenings.

I approached it in a slightly more methodical way than I normally do, focusing on small areas at a time before moving onto another. Usually I have a habit of doing a bit of everything all at once in a slightly disorganised but arguably more artistic way.

I'm quite pleased with the results. Let me know what you think in the comments.

As always, more of my work can be seen/bought/commissioned at

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Massive savings on original art and commissions!

  • Commission a high quality painted portrait for under £100.
  • Up to 20% off original artwork.

Without wanting to sound too much like Al Harrington from Family Guy, I've gone discount crazy over at!

January sales are so last year; March is when all the cool kids do their bargain hunting, so head on over to the Commission a Painting section to find the new 2013 pricing structure.

Portrait paintings from photographs now start from as little as £99. So whether you want a painting to commemorate a loved one, a special moment and memory, or a beloved pet cat or dog, rendered in a detailed and colourful piece of art, I guarantee an exemplary price to quality ratio.

Check out what previous customers have had to say about their personalised artwork commissions.

Human Portrait Paintings

Pet Portraits

Cat Pet Portraits a speciality

Original artwork has also been heavily discounted, with up to 20% off the price of hand painted canvases and boards. There's no better time to buy an original piece of art by Luke Bennett (I am him).

'Here Comes the Sun' - original Beatles art

'King Lion' - wildlife artwork, prints available

'Big Blue Cat' - original, quirky, cartoon art