Linda Halcomb's Blog

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February 28, 2010 February 28, 2010

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I have been tied up for a couple of days. Three sick dogs and a husband only a week after surgery, three tours in three galleries at the IMA, but who’s complaining?  Dogs are pretty well recovered, Ken is progressing well and I had interested, interesting people on my tours so life is good. The down period has given me time to plan my next painting – in my head anyway. Are you like me? I wish I did as much painting on paper as I do in my head!

I decided to flex my watercolor muscles by using the knowledge I’ve gain through my colored pencil portraits to paint my first ever watercolor portrait. I decided to use the face of a little girl that moved me when I saw it in National Geographic – I know I shouldn’t be working from NG photos but I wanted to focus my time on painting. This was intended to be an exercise not a painting for sale – and like I said her face spoke to me. I completed the painting today. I used layers of lots of different colors to get the modeling and the skin tones. I wound up cropping the painting since I really did a sloppy job on the bottom part of her torso and the background but I was pretty happy with my first watercolor face. I have done graphite and colored pencil portraits and it was really difficult giving up the control I feel with pencils.  Here she is.

The Waif


February 24, 2010 February 25, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 6:46 am
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Ken was ready to leave the house today so we ran several errands. It is always good, after several days stuck indoors, to “blow the stick off” as my charming husband says.

Last night I took some time to play with my Sketch and Wash pencils again. A little sketch book is definitely not sturdy enough to do this properly but I am learning. I have heard of but had never tried the grisaille technique and I thought the pencils might provide a good tool for this. I did two small heads by drawing the face with the Sketch & Wash pencil, using clear water to create gray washes and then applying color with colored pencils.

The Wanderer

I am not sure if I like the technique and I really do not like these pencils based on my experiences to date but I am going to keep experiementing and to be fair to use different/better paper next time. I just have to decide what that is.

The Merchant


February 23, 2010 February 24, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 8:43 am
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It is Tuesday and that means drawing with Irina. She had another assemblage of unusual, fun and quirky artifacts.

Drawing for Painters Set Up 02232010

The cow is all skewed and twisted. It is in reality a candlestick. It has on boots and the head comes out the side, the udder is off center and the tail comes out another side. We had lots of extra students yesterday since some of Irina’s watercolor students were completing snow-related make-up sessions. The items were fairly small and Irina had cloth draped around them. I did not see much of the detail until I walked up really close to take my photos. Anyway here is my drawing. I am not inspired to paint it (I think I am feeling a need for color) but I had tremendous fun and a challenging time drawing it.

Drawing for Painters Sketch 02232010


February 22, 2010 February 23, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 3:07 pm
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This has been a wonderful day to paint. I was able to focus on and finish Raggedy Ann and I am really pleased with the way she turned out. Raggedy AnnI tried to make her look like a doll that a little girl had played with – a little faded and stained. She’s lost her pinafore. My husband kept saying something was not quite right. After much debate and discussion we looked at an actual doll and there WAS a problem. Raggedy Ann has a big, ear-to-ear smile and my Raggedy just had a small grin. I made her smile bigger and every thing fell into place. Isn’t she a cutie?


February 21, 2010 February 22, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 8:56 am
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A new painting! I am so happy. Yesterday I stayed home with two healthy dogs, a dog recovering from a respiratory infection, a dog that is on strict bed rest for a slipped disc and a husband recuperating from surgery. Now the great thing is that I spent the day painting rather than baking cookies. I did another light filled abstract using acrylics and a full sheet of Yupo. I enjoy the pastel lightness of this painting and have titled it White Light. I also was able to transfer my Raggedy Ann drawing to my watercolor paper and intend to paint the red-head today.  I am a bit intimidated and hesitant to start but, as they say, I will start by getting the white off the paper.

White Light 20" X 28" Acrylic on Yupo


February 19, 2010 February 21, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 6:49 am
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My husband’s surgery is over and he is slowly coming back to normal. I spent Friday in my studio framing some of my recent watercolors and while I was tidying up I stumbled across an interesting phenomena. Recently I have been practicing Sumi-e and I made some practice paintings of bamboo. I found one of my exercises and thought “Why didn’t I like that? It is not that bad.” Then I realized I was looking at the reverse side of the paper. The Sketch Paper I was using allows the ink to bleed through and it had edited the painting enough that it looks much better. Hummm… is there a learning here? Edit, edit, edit! Keep it simple!

Bamboo - Reverse side


February 17 & 18, 2010 February 19, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:59 am
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As part of my last shipment from Cheap Joe’s I bought a couple of Sketch & Wash pencils. I bought them because I thought I heard someone say they used them to sketch their drawings on paper before starting a watercolor painting. I thought the lead was light and just dissolved and disappeared as you painted. Well OBVIOUSLY NOT! On Wednesday I tried my first work with these pencils and I now know that they are used to make a painting that looks like a drawing made from ink washes. And that is fine. Here is my first attempt.

Drawing #1 using Sketch & Wash Pencils

I tried doing a second drawing yesterday while I was at the surgery center with my husband and I learned something about where my head is right now. In the past I have focused my drawing and paintings on animals, nature, landscapes, flowers but virtually never on faces, figures or portraits. Yesterday I drew the face of a beautiful young woman and I tore it up and threw it out. Not because the technical content wasn’t good but because it looked sterile to me – nothing behind the face. When I look at the drawing I did on Tuesday, I see a man satisfied with where he is at. He has had a hard life but he values where he has been, he has had some success and he is planning for tomorrow. He has experience, confidence and history. This drawing was inspired by the eyes of an Auschwitz survivor I saw in a photograph in Smithsonian. I see a facial feature that speaks to me and I use it to start a drawing but the drawing becomes mine as I add features and expression. I need to think more about this and how to act on it. This was a revelation for me. All I know is you can expect to see more faces in the future.