Mary was born in 1863 in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. The photo was taken of Mary shortly before her 1884 marriage to Harry Herbert Stone (1858-1941). At the time of their marriage, both worked in factories in West Brookfield -- he in a box factory and she in a corset factory.
Although this is a sepia-toned photo, I chose blue for Mary's eyes, as both of her parents' photographs show them with light-colored eyes. I used a pencil to mark the spacing for eyes, nose, and mouth, but my goal was to paint "freehand" as much as possible.
I worked with a limited palette for this portrait sketch: Transparent Yellow, Burnt Sienna, Sepia, Transparent Brown, and Mineral Violet for face, hair, and dress, and Cobalt Blue, Payne's Gray, and Ultramarine Blue for the background.
A close look at the reference photo, reveals a slender gold bar pin that Mary pinned to her white collar. That small pin was saved by Mary's youngest daughter, my Great-great Aunt Maude. Before she died, my aunt gave the pin (now more than 130 years old) to me.
Mary Adeline Benson, age 20