Linda Halcomb's Blog

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March 30, 2010 March 31, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:24 am
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I am continuing to work on my Cowgirl painting. I acted on Alex’s nudge and reworked my last drawing. I don’t know why I thought I could do the person in graphite and the background in charcoal. Got a little lazy I guess. The revised drawings is much better and is at the end of this post. A BIG thank you to Alex. Yesterday I started working on studies. I am particularly concerned about the skin tones and shadows on the face since I’ve only painted two heads before. I started by using a grisaille approach with a light gray but I did not really like this so I went in later and added bluish shadows.

Cowgirl Study

I am still concerned about this and am looking at my art books and magazines to get some help. I have decided to use a washed out blue shirt and a complementary orange, gold, earthtone background. I am also considering whether to use a buff colored hat or a darker shade. Then I did a couple of studies of the dog.

Dog Study for The Cowgirl

I think I like the black and white dog best but the reddish one may work better with the analogous complementary color scheme. Anyway I am still considering and am going to paint a really rough study of the entire painting to finalize the colors. I am really frustrated by how long the process is taking BUT my four dogs are being very needy right now and I am not getting the concentrated time I need to really focus so I can wrap this up. In other words, I guess I am doing it to myself! Here is the final drawing…The Final Cowgirl Drawing


March 27, 2010 March 28, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 8:01 am
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And the evolution continues…I just spent the last two days working on the detailed drawing for the Cowgirl painting I want to do. I made several changes but now I am to the point that I am ready to make the drawing on my watercolor paper.

Cowgirl Detailed Drawing

Just a few questions for those who are willing to comment.

1. I think the neck is too long. Should I shorten it?

2. Is the hat right? I changed the style to more of a Mexican / Southwest style. Should I go back to something more tyipcally western?

3. She looks a little stiff and forward leaning. Should I remove the rope? Maybe put it in her hand at her side instead of the cup? Tilt the shoulders differently? I am using the cup because I want to convey the beginning of her day.

Please be critical…one thing I have noticed about the process I am following is that I get tired of working on one piece so long so I may do some Sumi-e or something before I start to paint this. Each step yields improvement so I don’t want to get bored and not finish the process or the painting.


March 25, 2010 March 25, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 5:53 am
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First of all, I would like to thank Ryan (Small Town Dad) for proposing the Spring Challenge  Paint-out. It was incredible fun to go through all of the paintings. I continue to be impressed with the creativity, talent and generosity of the artists who blog. You rock!!! If you haven’t checked this out please take a look.

Yesterday I continued to work on ideas for my Cowgirl painting. I tightened up the focus so it was clear that the cowgirl was the focal point of the painting. I studied cowgirl stuff and spent time refining her clothing. I dropped the neckerchief and drew her with many styles of hat. I also tried to bring in a hint of Native American ancestery. I really need to improve the hand /dog portion of the drawing and late yesterday shot a couple of photos of my trusty dog Baxter to help with this. Anyway, I am still playing on newsprint but am definitely closer to what I want. Stayed tuned!

Cowgirl Sketch 03242010


March 24, 2010 March 24, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:34 am
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It is time to post the  painting I did for the Spring Challenge posted by Small Town Dad. I can’t wait to see the other paintings.

Springtime Challenge

I used a process that is used often in watercolor painting but that I had never used. I did small thumbnails to decide on the composition I wanted to paint than I transferred the composition to a 140# Arches CP paper. I masked the flowers and buds and then sprayed the paper with water. I splattered various greens, golds and yellows over the paper. I let this dry and then painted in broad brush strokes of green on the botton and yellow on the top of the composition. Next step was to remove the mask and paint the flowers, stems and buds. I then remasked the flowers, did more spraying, splattered, splotching, touching, and fiddling. Removed the masking and did final touch up all over the painting. It worked fairly well and I have learned alot. The only thing I am unhappy with is the effect on the surface of the paper from rubbing off multiple layers of masking. The second layer had too much water on the brush when dipping into the mask so the mask layer was thin and hard to rub off. Oh yes, and my poppies look like tulips!  Anyway…enjoy this lovely Spring day.


March 21, 2010 March 22, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:16 am
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This has been a week full of doctor’s appointments, errands, family confusions and yada, yada, yada. What else is new! Anyway I didn’t accomplish as much as I hoped but as I watched the NCAA tourney I was able to start working on sketches for a new watercolor. I grew up on a farm and I have always admired the hard work and ethical behavior of the farmers I grew up with. My brother-in-law still farms and two of my son-in-laws have been farmers.

Elizabeth Posing

I see the same characteristics along with a level of stoicism and aloneness in cowboys. I decided a few weeks ago that I wanted to paint a cowgirl waiting to begin her day. I had my granddaughter Elizabeth pose for digital photos that I thought I would use to get me started. Elizabeth has that long lean look I think of for a cowgirl (totally unlike her Grandmother). I had her hold a cup because I thought my cowgirl might be looking into the distance as she sipped her last cup of coffee early in the morning. Using newsprint and my Ebony pencil I began to work on sketches using slightly different poses and incorporating animals you might see on a farm or ranch.

Cowgirl Sketch #1

I did many, many sketches starting simple, making minor changes to them all as I worked on the design.

Cowgirl Sketch #2

After about an hour and a half of sketching I started to add value to the sketches. (HMMM… value or values…freudian slip?) So here is where I am at. After all that sketching I think I have decided that I have lost the focus on the cowgirl and will probably tighten up the composition, taking out many of the elements and cropping so only her upper body is shown. I think after I get the composition I am going to do a detailed drawing and then start some watercolor studies. With this painting I really want to use a fully developed process that might yield a better painting. This will be a first for me and I am trying to be patient and to focus on the purpose of each step of the process.

Here is the final sketch that I am still evaluating.

Cowgirl Sketch #3


March 18, 2010 March 18, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:32 am
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Just a note. Yesterday I finished a small watercolor for the Spring Challenge issued by Small Town Dad. I will post it with the other participants on March 22, 2010. Stay tuned!!!!


March 16, 2010 March 17, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 11:02 am
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Yesterday I began to work with the plum bossom and the calligraphic symbol for Friendship. I started by practicing “Fall”, which turned out very well and working on my strokes, practicing bamboo and “Laughter”. I am working with the new ink I bought from OAS and it is quite different from watercolor or Black Magic ink. It is thicker and more viscous. I am fighting with dilution of the ink and the brush loading. But I know I am only at the beginning of the learning curve.

Plum Exercise #1

I practiced two different patterns. I really need to go back and study the plum to learn more about the tree, the blossoms and how they grow and develop. (This is also true of the orchid). As with anything it helps to understand the underlying structure…and as usual I just jump in!

Plum Exercise #2

Both of these use student quality Sumi ink on newsprint and my older, perhaps lower quality brushes. Perhaps next week I will be confident enough to work on the better paper.


March 15, 2010 March 16, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 6:54 am
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Really exciting news… I received notification yesterday that three of my paintings have been accepted for Paperchase, a juried show held by Gallery 308 in Muncie, Indiana, home of Ball State University. Ball State has one of the top art programs in the state. This is a big deal for me because, other then the Indiana State Fair, I did not enter any shows or competitions last year. I wanted to focus on improving my basic skills and I spent my time studying color theory (working with books by Betty Edwards and Stephan Quiller) and drawing (classes at the Indianapolis Art Center). I am still a novice when considering color choices but at least now I have an understanding of the basics and THINK about color choices as I paint. My first drawing class last summer reawakened my long forgotten love of drawing.

Along with two 2010 pieces posted earlier on my blog, one of my 2008 collage pieces was accepted.

Collage #4, Watercolor and Paper on Yupo

I completed it after taking a workshop from Peggy Brown, a nationally known artist from Nashville, Indiana. She exhibits abstract watercolor collages and has recently become active nationally in art quilting. (I will add a link to her website to my list.) I have not done another collage since completing this one but I have always really liked it. I should do more, especially now that I have a better handle on composition. So much to do, so much to learn, so little time…better get busy!


March 14, 2010 March 15, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 6:55 am
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On Friday night we had our monthly “Family Night”. I had just picked up my two big abstracts (posted February 4 and February 21) from the framing shop. My sister-in-law was looking at them and she really loved the one I call White Light. She said “This is a wedding. I feel like I’m at a wedding.” When I paint these large abtracts I think about ideas for days or weeks and then they just roll out of me when I start to paint. I took what Kandi said and began to think about how I would paint a theme of “heart light” or “love light”. This was very easy for me to envision since I have a great deal of love in my life. I am lucky to have big hearted family, friends and even professional associates. All of these people have changed my life. The painting was quick and instinctual.

Heart Light, Acrylic on Yupo, 13" X 20"


March 13, 2010 March 14, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 12:20 pm
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This has been a LOOONG week full of complications, meetings and other obligations. After picking up the house and doing laundry I was too mentally tired to take on anything too detailed or complex so I decided to free my mind  – to open up and release the little gray cells from tension.  So I worked on another abstract painting. I really like working with the combination of heavy body acrylics and yupo and I have been mulling over the colors and characteristics that define Mardi Gras for several weeks. I wanted to work with purple, green and gold and I wanted to capture the spirit, the movement and the light and dark feel of the pre-lent revelry. I am really happy with this painting. I always feel that the carnival before Lent has a dark feeling to it and I hope I was able to capture that.

Carnival, 13" X 20", Acrylic on Yupo