Friday, 28 December 2018

L’entrée d’Urbain II à Toulouse by Benjamin Constant

Benjamin Constant (10 June 1845 – 26 May 1902), was a French painter who was well known for his Oriental paintings. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Toulouse under Alexandre Cabanel. He was influenced by his travels to Morocco and Spain.

“L’entrée d’Urbain II à Toulouse” was commissioned in 1892, finished in 1900, and exhibited in Paris before being delivered to Toulouse. It was only exhibited in its current location in 1925 because some architectural work was needed to accommodate the height of the painting.

L’entrée d’Urbain II à Toulouse by Benjamin Constant

Place du Capitole
31000 Toulouse

Closed when receptions take place, on Saturdays, on December 25th and on January 1st. 

Free admission.

Related resources and articles

Tuesday, 25 December 2018


Bluebells - Oil on panel (6" x 8") by Benoit Philippe

Monday, 19 November 2018

A few sketches from Japan

Tenryū-ji Temple in Tokyo 

Tenryū-ji Temple is the head temple of the Tenryū branch of Rinzai Zen Buddhism. Wikipedia article on Tenryū-ji Temple gives you more details.

In the Shinkansen 

The Shinkansen is the Japanese bullet train, a great way to travel between cities in Japan. They run like clockwork. You need to be ready to board or get out very quickly. I have been told-off once for not getting on board fast enough (and therefore making it leave a few seconds late…)

Train to Hakone 

Hakone is in the mountains west of Tokyo, in Japan's Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. It is a beautiful place and, when the weather is clear, you can see Mount Fuji.

Friday, 16 November 2018

Paul Gervais Room in the Capitole in Toulouse

Paul Gervais (1859-1944) decorated the former wedding hall of the Capitole in 1916. The theme is love and happiness.

L'Amour à 40 ans - by Paul Gervais

L'Amour à 40 ans (detail) - by Paul Gervais

L'Île de Cythère - by Paul Gervais

L'Île de Cythère (detail) - by Paul Gervais

L'Île de Cythère (detail) - by Paul Gervais

Place du Capitole
31000 Toulouse

Closed when receptions take place, on Saturdays, on December 25th and on January 1st.

Free admission.

Related article

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Henri Martin Room in the Capitole in Toulouse

The room itself was built in 1605, which makes it one of the oldest part of the Capitole.

The painter Henri Martin was hired in 1900 to decorate the room after it had been restored.

The theme of the painting is “Le Temps qui Passe” (the passing of time) and depicts the seasons both in the countryside and in town. La Garone, the river flowing through Toulouse, features in many of the paintings.
Les bords de la Garonne_Les reveurs 

Les bords de la Garonne_Les reveurs (detail) 

Les bords de la Garonne_Les rêveurs (detail)

La Garonne - Les amoureux  

La Garonne - Les amoureux  (details)

Les bords de la Garonne - Le Poête

Le Pont Neuf - La Dalbade

Le Pont Neuf - La Dalbade (detail)

Le Pont St-Pierre


Spring (detail)

Spring (detail)

Spring (small panel)


Summer (detail)

Summer (detail)




Place du Capitole
31000 Toulouse

  • Closed when receptions take place, on Saturdays, on December 25th and on January 1st. 
  • Free admission.

Sunday, 4 November 2018

The old bike

The old bike - Ink pens and watercolour, by Benoit Philippe

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Sketching in Oxford

On Saturday, one of my daughters and I went to Oxford (England). We packed our sketchbooks and managed to do a few sketches during the day.

As usual, I have used different ink pen brushes that I like for quick execution, a range of black PITT artist pens (Faber-Castell), and my Sennelier travel watercolour box for the wash on one of the sketches. These are direct execution, without any preliminary drawing.

Inky Fingers Comics - Sepia Ink pen brush (Pentel)

Inky Fingers Comics is an independent specialized bookshop located 38 Cowley Road, Oxford OX4 1HZ. They stock the usual American comics (Marvels or DC) and Japanese manga books, but also some original graphic novels,‘indie’ and self-published books. And you can buy a coffee, seat and browse the "Library" box... Great atmosphere and warm welcome from the owner. Recommended shop if you like comics and go to Oxford.

Eating at Wagamama - Green ink pen brush (Pentel) and ink pen

I started with the ink brush and, at the end, used a black ink pen to give more definition to the main subject (that is until the bowl of Ramen arrived at our table).

After lunch and raiding a few bookshops, we went to the Oxford University Museum of Natural History to do more sketches. They have one of a rare specimen of a Dodo (another one is in London).

Statue of the Prince Consort - Ink pen and watercolour wash

Iguanodon Bernissartensis - Blue Ink pen brush (Pentel)

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Liverpool: The Beatles and a Dazzle ship

In Liverpool (England), The Beatles are everywhere. The city is rightly proud to be the home town of such a famous band.


The Beatles – Bronze by Andy Edwards (2015) 

An engraved stone in front of the group’s statue reads:

“The Beatles
last played in Liverpool at the Empire Theatre on 
December 5th 1965
… but they never really left.
They are synonymous with this city 

A tribute on behalf of fans worldwide.

Funded by the Cavern Club.” 

Near the docks was also a multicoloured boat painted by the artist Carlos Cruz-Diez and placed on Liverpool Waterfront.

Dazzle Ship by Carlos Cruz-Diez (The title of the piece is “Induction Chromatique à Double Fréquence pour l’Edmund Gardner Ship / Liverpool. Paris, 2014”) 

The notice near the boat had some very interesting pieces of information on the origin of dazzle painting:

Dazzle painting was a sort of camouflage for ships that was used from 1917. The contrasting violent colours, curves and broken shapes would not hide the ship but create an optical distortion. This illusion made it more difficult for German submarines to calculate the course of the ship.

The ‘dazzle’ style was heavily influenced by Cubism and its multiple viewpoints. The marine painter Norman Wilkinson invented Dazzle painting and more than 2,000 ships were painted that way.

Related resources

Monday, 23 April 2018

Bristol's Crane

These cranes are in the port of Bristol, on the West coast of England.

Bristol's Cranes - Oil on canvas board 6"x8") by Bnoit Philippe

Monday, 16 April 2018

Fairford Art Society oil painting workshop

Last Saturday, I have done a day workshop for the Fairford Art Society. It was a great experience with some people experienced  and others having a go at oil painting for the first time.

Everyone is busy working on their painting

I brought some material for those who needed it

And in the afternoon, I managed to paint a small canvas myself.