Linda Halcomb's Blog

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April 9, 2011 April 10, 2011

Filed under: Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 4:53 am
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Have you ever had a painting that you liked but no else seemed to? About a year ago I did a painting while I was taking a class at the The Art Center in Indianapolis. The class was Drawing for Painters and I tried to take the drawings made in class and to turn them into paintings. That’s what it was all about. During one class I took two photos made while we lived in Heidelberg and combined them. I had just completed the book Color Choices by Stephen Quiller and wanted to work with complementary colors. I painted most of the painting using blues and purples played against their complements, yellows and oranges.

St Ignatius - 2010

I liked this painting but most responses were ho-hum. Last week, I pulled it out of its frame and started working with it. I have a tendency to avoid dark values but I realized I needed more variety in the values. I also tried to neutralize the color in most of the painting. I think the painting is better now. More true to life – weathered, stained, worn. I don’t know if I will frame it again but this was a great learning experience.

St Ignatius - 2011

I tried to maintain a sense of the jewel-like tones I achieved originally in the frame of the arch (Instructor Irina complemented me on them at the time). I think the feeling of depth is better. Well OK – I think I like it!




13 Responses to “April 9, 2011”

  1. The second is much bolder. My earlier painting was much lighter and I was more tentative in my expression. Life has a way of giving you permission to make statements which at one time would have seemed too audacious.

  2. Chris Carter Says:

    The second version certainly has a greater illusion of depth and of light source.
    By the way…. I lived in Heidelberg in 1969, for a short time I lived on Blumentalstrasse, across the Neckar River. I then moved right into the city. I loved walking through the community gardens that surrounded the cities and villages in Germany.

    • Chris, I think everyone should have the opportunity to live or work in another country. What a learning experience! We lived one “block” off the Hauptstrasse in the house immediately next door to P6 and across from the Allegemeine Krankenhaus. We had a flat on the first floor and the people that owned the building lived on the top 3 floors. I loved the sound of the church bells and the cobbled streets. Did you ever visit the Deutsch-American Institute? We used it regularly and participated in the English language discussion groups. We were there during the 2004 US Presidential Election. OH MY! What an experience. Did you have favorite restaurants, places or experiences?

  3. lesliepaints Says:

    I remember this painting and your assignment, Linda. I think the second one, here is much better due to the accentuation in value contrast.
    That said, I, too, have my students work with combining references. I do not think I do this in order for them to come up with a fantastic painting each time.I do it because I want them to practice being able to omit things and add other things. Sometimes, we, as artists, get into a habit of rendering something too exactly and don’t allow for other possibilities in our work that could make it stronger. Sort of like we stifle our voice. If we practice making changes in exercises such as this one, we are more apt to give voice to our inner selves to make changes in the future when they need it. 🙂 Excellent post!

  4. judy Says:

    Linda, I too prefer the second rendering, and I think it’s because the stronger values give more depth and substance to the subject. Gretchen hit it on the head with “Life has a way of giving you permission to make statements which at one time would have seemed too audacious.” On, paint on!

  5. I think both are very nice, I like the purple undertones in the first, but the ‘values’ in the second are much stronger. I admire your courage for revisiting a painting. I’m only just beginning to appreciate the science of colour. Everything previously was produced on instinct. When I finally realised I had no instinct, I found myself turing to posts such as yours Linda for knowledge and guidance. Lovely.

    • I am really color challenged! I love color but am struggling to learn about mixing and warm-cool relationships. The thing I have learned is that it is not black and white. The most interesting thing I’ve learned lately is that a warm color may be considered and treated as a cool color if it is the coolEST color in the composition and vice versa. Solved part of my confusion!

  6. Stacia Says:

    I am having such fun following your posts! I’ve always envied the talents of artists and have been intrigued with how a blank page is transformed to a thing of beauty. You’re teaching me how it is done. Thank you!

  7. artistwife Says:

    The changes you made really livened up the painting. The contrast makes it more interesting!

  8. segmation Says:

    Nice blog on Complementary Colors! Check out my blog at and thanks for allowing my comment.

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