Repost: Painting outdoors-Bures, Suffolk

Sorry, the last post did a funny thing when I tried to include a few links.

Plein air painting is something I am planning to do more of this year. I really want to get outside in the elements and capture all the colours, the light and beauty. I started by going around several places in Suffolk, taking pictures and doing sketches. This past weekend I headed out to Lavenham and Bures to do some painting! The photo above is from Sunday’s session near Bures. It was slightly warmer than Saturday and luckily there was a sturdy wooden bench to sit on and spread out my materials. I am looking forward to more plein air painting!  If you are on Instagram, search @hwdixonart to see recent posts and videos of this painting process.  You can also Google @hwdixonart Instagram, click the link to see recent posts and videos.

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Another pumpkin

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I have been enjoying painting my mini pumpkins and gourds! I am also enjoying this new composition for my still life work, it feels freeing in a way. New composition, new ideas, new themes, so much fun! Above is my loose sketch for a painting I completed last week. (oil on cradled panel, 16 x 16 inches)
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Working on the underpainting, using a brush.
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Underpainting close-up
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After finishing the underpainting, I applied thicker paint with a brush and palette knife to render the pumpkin and the bowl. You can also see that I have worked on the knife.
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Spool of thread close-up
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The finished painting with the still life reference.
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There are many aspects of this painting that I really love. The simplicity is one of them. I have also added text which I haven’t done before. I didn’t want it to be too noticeable and take the focus away from the lovely pumpkin. The contrast of the orange and cream pumpkin in a blue-green bowl was deliberate. Even though the red is bold, it isn’t too distracting.

Available work: Pumpkins!

It’s pumpkin season!!! I loooove pumpkins. I love their shape and Autumn colours and they are yummy.
Above is an available Autumnal painting full of lovely pumpkins:
“Harvest pumpkins and eucalyptus leaves”
oil on cradled panel
30 x 30 inches
£1,200
Please contact me for more info.

Something new: Naive style portraits

I have been working on a project involving portraits with a narrative.  The naive style of the portraits gives a nod to illustration and helps the viewer see the painting as a whole and not  a traditional portrait.  I have been painting a few on and off and I think these three are the best.  I am still figuring out where I'm going with these, but I think I'm headed in a good direction. Above: "Red locks and hollyhocks" oil on cradled panel, 16 x 16 inches.
I have been working on a project involving portraits with a narrative. The naive style of the portraits gives a nod to illustration and helps the viewer see the painting as a whole and not a traditional portrait. I have been painting a few on and off and I think these three are the best. I am still figuring out where I’m going with these, but I think I’m headed in a good direction. Above: “Red locks and hollyhocks” oil on cradled panel, 16 x 16 inches.
"Meet me by the tree" oil on cradled panel, 16 x 16 inches
“Meet me by the tree” oil on cradled panel, 16 x 16 inches
"The couple" oil on cradled panel, 30 x 30 inches
“The couple” oil on cradled panel, 30 x 30 inches

Painting process: Spilled figs on gold

I happen to really love painting figs.  I decided to test how much by  doing this painting.  Just like my 'Spilled Pomegranates' painting I used four figs to help cover this 30 x 30 inch board.  Above you can see I have sketched in all the figs and painted the background and shadows with a thin wash of paint.
I happen to really love painting figs. I decided to test how much by doing this painting. I used only four figs as a reference to help cover this 30 x 30 inch board. Above: I have sketched in all the figs and painted the background and shadows with a thin wash of paint.
With a brush I gave the figs a thin wash of colour.
Underpainting of the figs.
Before I start applying thicker paint, I mix all the colours I may need for the figs.  This way I won't break my flow as I begin painting all these figs!
Before I start applying thicker paint, I mix all the colours I may need for the figs. This way I won’t break my flow as I begin painting all these figs!
Figs detail.
Figs detail.
I pain tinted as many figs I could before getting tired or lazy and sloppy.  This part took three days.  I made sure to vary my mixes and colours of the figs to keep things from getting monotonous.
I painted as many figs as I could before getting tired, lazy and sloppy. This part took three days. I made sure to vary my mixes and colours of the figs.  Some are darker, some more cool in colour, others are more red, etc.
Finished figs detail.  The gold background has been added as well.
Finished figs detail. The gold background has been added as well.
Here is the finished painting.  It took six days in total to finish.  Well worth all the work I think and I am surprisingly not tired of painting figs!  My next panting will be a few figs on a decorative plate.  I think I will give figs a rest after that...maybe.
Here is the finished painting. It took six days in total to finish. Well worth all the work and I am surprisingly not tired of painting figs! My next panting will be a few figs on a decorative plate. I think I will give figs a rest after that…maybe.

Painting process: Moody Sky, 12 x 12 inches

I am currently working on small landscapes for my solo exhibition in October.  I love to paint bright bright sunny days, maybe because I'm from California.  I also appreciate the days where a storm is coming or has just passed, the sky looks amazing and the ground below becomes so bright against the darkened sky.  So, here is the painting process for the moody sky landscape I painted yesterday from a photo reference.  Above is my simple sketch.
I am currently working on small landscapes for my solo exhibition in October. I love to paint bright bright sunny days (maybe because I’m from California). I also appreciate the days when a storm is coming or has just passed, the sky looks amazing and the ground below becomes so bright against the darkened sky. So, here is the painting process for the moody sky landscape I painted yesterday from a photo reference. Above is my simple sketch.
Blocking in the colour.
Blocking in the colour.
underpainting close-up
underpainting close-up
Starting the sky underpainting.
Painting in the sky.
Underpainting is finished.
Underpainting is finished.
Now I'm using the palette knife.  I would usually start by painting the darks first, but the dark clouds are in front of the blue sky.
Now I’m using the palette knife. I would usually start by painting the darks first, but the dark clouds are in front of the blue sky.
sky detail
sky detail
Working my way towards the darker clouds.
Working my way towards the darker clouds.
clouds detail
detail of clouds
At this point the sky is almost done.  I need to add the really dark bits and the lightest bits.
At this point the sky is almost done. I need to add the really dark bits and the lightest bits.
dark clouds detail
dark clouds close-up
The sky is now complete.
The sky is now complete.
Starting on the land below.
Starting on the land below.
land detail
land detail
Here is the finished painting.  There is lots of movement in the sky and I like the blue bits of the sky peaking out through the dark clouds.  Well, I'm off to paint another cloudscape.
Here is the finished painting. There is lots of movement in the sky and I like how the blue bits are peaking out through the dark clouds. Well, I’m off to paint another cloudscape.