Linda Halcomb's Blog

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February 16, 2012 February 16, 2012

Filed under: Daily Post,Sumi-e — lindahalcombfineart @ 8:32 am
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Well I am still fighting frustration and my low skill level as I struggle to produce a decent bamboo painting. So I decided to critique my most recent attempt. I always learn from my mistakes so I hope you will also find this helpful. To start here is the painting:

Bamboo 2

Idea: I wanted to paint a simple composition with a large, old stalk of bamboo and young shots growing up around it. I like the way the new leaves point upwards.

Issue 1 – When I paint I am working on a double size practice paper but I practice on a single size practice paper so I may use larger brushes when I start to paint. I had not practiced with the larger brush that I used for the largest stalk of bamboo. The larger brush holds more fluid so it diluted my ink and I didn’t get the deep color to the side of the stalk. So no depth or modeling.

Issue 2: The composition was too simple for such a large sheet of paper so I let the painting dry over night and added two more small stalks of bamboo – they are not well painted because I had trouble seeing as I did overpainting.

Issue 3: Still having real trouble with ink color and brush loading. Never get it dark enough so go back and overpaint – real no-no.

Issue 4: I forget that if ink has not dried it will bleed into the lower layer producing blurry, smudgy looking areas. I always think its dry but its not.

Issue 5: Haven’t found the right brush or technique yet to paint the tiny twigs – get thick and thin spots and blurring.

Chop - Name

Chop Set

Someone asked about the chop I used on the last painting. For Christmas 2010 I asked for a chop as my gift. My husband found that you can get custom, personalized chops through the National Geographic catalog. They work with a Chinese expert to match your name as closely as possible. The chop itself is beautiful, made from jade and is about 1″ square and 3″ long. I love it and have thought about also using it as part of my signature on my watercolors!




9 Responses to “February 16, 2012”

  1. Jonathan Day Says:

    You know, I see the things you’re talking about, but it’s still a delightful piece of work.

  2. Linda Halcomb Says:

    Thank you, Jonathon. We’re always our worst critic!

  3. ruthsartwork Says:

    Linda, I know you see problems with it, but I think it is quite nice. I like the balance of dark and light that you have achieved which you must have accomplished the second time around. That is half the battle and when you find the right brushes, maybe you will be happier about everything.

    That is really cool about the personalized chop. What a great gift – and the memories that it brings.

    • Linda Halcomb Says:

      Thank you Ruth. I just finished 30 minutes of “strokes” practice. This morning I tried the opposite side of the paper. I have been using the fuzzier side and I used the harder side this morning. Just experimenting. I am really struggling when I just use my arm and don’t use my hand to brace my stroke…not natural for me but necessary if I want to work on large sheets of paper. Maybe I should cut back to one cup of coffee in the morning!

  4. Carol King Says:

    I like your bamboo very much and your gray scale in this painting.

  5. Yousei Hime Says:

    This is one of my favorite painting mediums. I’ve always loved pencil, ink and black and white art. I’ve tried sumi-e and found it surprisingly difficult. Of course, I have little painting experience anyway. I think you’ve made an excellent start. When you have your composition the way you want it, the next step will be finding how to create movement and stillness in what you’ve painted. I’m jealous.

  6. hannekekoop Says:

    Hi Linda. Instead of passing an award, I’ve put a link to your wonderful blog into mine, hope that’s okay.

  7. Deano Says:

    Hi Linda
    I found you through a bamboo image whilst I was looking for a free clipart bamboo image, to use as an icon on my smallholding blog. Whilst you may not be fully happy with this and the earlier picture, I would love to use it in my blog. If that would be OK, please let me know here. I will not use it without your permission.
    Good lUck with your work

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