Linda Halcomb's Blog

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January 26, 2018 January 26, 2018

Filed under: Acrylics,Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 9:14 am
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I am fighting a cold and have a big, red, drippy nose so I decided to work on something that I could mess up and it just wouldn’t matter. I mentioned recently that I created a mess of mud trying to paint my first Circles and Lines painting. I decided to scrub off the paint and see what was left. It actually gave me a nice neutral background with a soft texture and an interesting mix of color. It, of course, had big blank circles! The circles reminded me of a flower garden, particularly a bed of zinnias. Zinnias are flowers that I love for their strength, vibrant colors and hardiness.


Flowers Experiment 1


I wanted to create more texture and depth in the background so I used a technique I learned from Warren Taylor (for more info about Warren click here). He taught a technique that I love. You use watercolor crayons and scrub heavy color  onto your paper and then spray it with water. Next you take sandwich wrap and press it into the wet color creating linear shapes that run randomly through the piece. Put a book on top and let it dry.  I didn’t use quite enough crayon but I achieved something close to the effect I wanted.


Flower Experiment 2


Next I began to paint flowers – red, yellow and white flowers. I painted them in acrylic straight from the tube since I did not want to use much water. That would have ruined the texture. I finished by applying another layer of crayon in yellow-green and yellow to brighten up everything.  I then wet it and let it dry. The painting is pretty rough but I always learn about the materials and techniques I’m using when I try something like this.


Flowers Experiment 3




January 16, 2017 January 17, 2018

Filed under: Abstract,Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 9:43 am
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Brrrr! It is freezing outside…good day to paint…Once again I have been inspired by my blogging friend Barry Combs. Barry did a workshop and taught his students a very practical approach to create abstract paintings. I decided to use the first exercise done during his class which is described here . It is to create an abstract using one color (he used Sepia). Step one is to create a drawing on your paper. Barry used overlapping fruit. I am using AGAIN circles and lines. (PS can you tell I have a degree in math from Purdue University? Love the geometric shapes and am always looking for ways to integrate them in my art!)


Sepia Abstract Exercise 1 jan2018



During the next step you paint most of the shapes with a mid-value mix leaving some white for contrast. Because, again, I had some “felting” of the paper I went over the shapes more than once but I think this is still a mid-value.


Sepia Abstract Practice 2 Jan2018


During Step 3 I applied a darker value of sepia. Just a tidbit: One reason I did this exercise is because Sepia and Payne’s Gray have always been two of my favorite colors, especially when used together to create rough wooden structures.


Sepia Abstract Practice 3 Jan2018


Finally you add a fourth layer of very dark color. Barry has taught a very simple, straight forward approach that works well for me right now as I reenter the world of watercolor. I enjoyed creating this little work of art and plan to try the second process described in Barry’s post today or tomorrow…so on to color and scaling up!


Sepia Abstract Practice 4 Jan 2018





January 14, 2018 January 15, 2018

Filed under: Abstract,Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 10:39 am
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Happy New Year to Everyone! I have been slogging along trying to find time to draw and paint but haven’t been very successful. The weather has been frigid and we’ve had high winds and snow. With the new year I have had lots to do and am struggling to maintain my exercise routine with the nasty weather. Very stressful. I have been sketching with a set of Micron pens with sepia ink but I keep getting distracted and haven’t finished anything. I tried a simple watercolor exercise last weekend and let it get away from me. I just created a lovely painting of mud…quite discouraging!

This weekend I was brave enough to get out my watercolors again. I have a new set of paints that I wanted to try. I did some color testing earlier and found the colors to be nice, even vibrant. I would say my exercise was partially successful. At least I got paint on a brush and finished something!


Circles and Lines exercise 01142018


You may see more of these “circle and line” exercises since this is an activity I learned from and artist named Judi Betts at a workshop a few years ago and I love it. You work with versions of the three primary colors and I do this activity occasionally because it lets me warm-up before more serious painting, test new materials and learn about new colors and color mixing. I did learn two things.

I used a 6 in X 9 in block of Canson Aquarelle paper. Last weekend I used it and I glazed pure unmixed colors. Some sections had 10 or more glazes. Both last weekend when I glazed my colors and this weekend when I mixed my colors I saw some “felting” or “pilling” of the paper. I think I work too wet to use this paper for my larger works.

I also used a new set of paints. I ordered them by accident but the reds were vibrant during color testing so I want to continue to work with them. They are called MYARTSCAPE artist quality watercolors. The reds are carmine and vermillion which I don’t normally use. What I found, I do like the colors but if I had a blob of paint remaining on my palette it did not reconstitute well after it dried. I kept finding small particles of dried paint in my brush while painting. The paint looked like it was smooth and well dissolved but wasn’t. I had several hard lines streaking through my painting that I had to try to smooth out.

So with both the paper and paint I would say I had mixed results but I guess that’s why I do this kind of experiment. At least my little painting uses warm colors…good to see on this very frigid day.


December 26, 2017 December 26, 2017

Filed under: Daily Post,Drawings — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:24 am
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Working with my bamboo pens I am finding it very difficult to do a finished drawing. It may just be the pens I have but none have a fine or very fine tip so my drawings look rustic at best and crude at worst. In my National Wildlife magazine I found an image I wanted very much to draw. It is of a large bighorn sheep. He is regal with powerful muscles and an alert posture as though he is on watch. He is the protector of his domain – at his prime. I did most of the drawing with my bamboo pens but finished the drawing/sketch (in a fit of frustration!) with a standard ink pen. The ink pen gave me the fine lines I needed to feel better about the drawing. It has some positives but I see some “kludgy” (to use a software term) areas that look smudgy and the head is too dark and short and I don’t have the eyes quite right. Ink is so unforgiving. Even more so than watercolor… Practice, practice, practice!


Bamboo Pen Practice 3




December 23, 2017 December 23, 2017

Filed under: Daily Post,Drawings — lindahalcombfineart @ 2:48 pm
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I have been engrossed in Walter Isaacson’s new biography of Leonardo da Vinci. The content is encyclopedic – rich and well written. The book is printed on elegant paper with a beautiful font and wonderful, clear images. The book includes many examples of Leonardo’s pen drawings. His mastery is dazzling and also inspiring. I will never approach the capability of Leonardo but I did get out my bamboo pens again and created a new practice sheet. I used images from my latest copy of National Wildlife (National Wildlife Federation monthly magazine). I love and am continually inspired by nature. I completed three rough sketches, the last of which I finished with colored pencils. The top drawing is of a monarch butterfly enjoying a blazing star, the second drawing is of three coneflowers, which are native to Indiana, and the third sketch I did is of a Southern Masked Weaver. I was fascinated by the colors shimmering through the feathers of this bird that is primarily yellow. He is weaving greenery into a nest.


Bamboo Pen Pactice 3




December 19, 2017 December 19, 2017

Filed under: Collage,Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:43 am
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Christmas is almost on us and I have been trying very hard to find gifts that “fit” each of my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. My oldest grandson has three lovely little girls. They are 7, 6 and 4 years old and are are becoming interested in reading to which I say “Yahoo!!!” I love to read and rise early each day so I can read in the quiet of early morning. When my girls were growing up they loved children’s magazines, so, for Christmas, I am giving my “emerging readers” a subscription to Highlights magazine. The first edition will not be delivered until January or February. In order for the little ladies to have something under the tree, I visited Barnes and Noble and bought every kids magazine I could find. (As an added benefit this will help keep them busy during their holiday break!)


I thought it would be fun to give each girl her own personal bookmark. Instead of buying them (couldn’t find a theme that had three different designs I liked!) I decided to use my collage technique to make the bookmarks. Here they are…


Bookmarks 1 2017




December 17, 2017 December 17, 2017

Filed under: Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 2:32 pm
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I wanted to post a couple of additional pages from my journal. I don’t know if most of the world has become addicted to Adult Coloring Books but they are very popular in the United States. They present adults with an opportunity to be creative in a non-threatening environment and are wonderful for stress release (really needed in the US as you can imagine!). When an adult colors it takes you back to a happier time. You can get lost in the activity.

The first page I am including is really inspired by my love of mathematics and color. I have a university degree in mathematics and have always been inspired by geometric shapes and prismatic color. I thought I would play with these ideas when working on this page.


Journal Image 3



With this next exercise in coloring I was working with ink and markers and just experimenting. I usually go for blues but this time I pumped the color with pinks and purples and even green. Does it make you want to dance? Enjoy!


Journal Image 4