Linda Halcomb's Blog

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March 31, 2012 April 1, 2012

Filed under: Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:18 am
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My daughter had surgery so I have been caregiving and chauffering for a few days. I got back to artmaking on Friday. About once a year, I do a class for various non-profit groups that I call Watercolor 101. As all of you know it is expensive to acquire artmaking materials, especially if you’re starting from scratch. I started doing this class for organizations I support, so that people can have a hands-on experience with watercolor without buying any materials. I use materials that I have or materials that the Watercolor Society of Indiana has for Outreach Programs. I originally used a geometric design approach that I learned in a workshop given by Judi Betts. It works really well and generally a small watercolor can be completed in about 2 hours if I have the design predrawn on the paper. I used this approach in the background for this painting. I have my “students” working on a warm and a cool painting at the same time.

Apples and Circles #3 - The background approach was learned from Judi Betts

I want to have a second approach ready. It would need to be simple, straight forward and easy to paint. Also, it helps inspire future painters if the result is attractive. I have been pondering how to live life and what adds fun and value to life. I decided the pieces would have to have something living like a person or a dog as the focal point and that food and drink or nature seem to consistently bring enjoyment to life. I started flipping through magazines because I want the newbies to find three simple people or items in photos in magazines. The idea is to use tracing paper to do a rough, imperfect design from these perfect magazine photos. I did that and then did an initial underpainting using cad yellow, cad red and viridian. After transferring the design to the watercolor paper,  you paint in light washes, glazing to build up colors. With beginners I have found that it is good to finish by outlining with markers – it fixes many flaws and makes a nice finished piece. Here is my trial work – too complicated for a beginner but you get the idea.

WC 101 Exercise

I was fascinated by the idea of a very finished, business woman standing on a street corner eating an ice cream treat. I did not include the hibiscus in the original design but added them later to add color and to tie in the edges of the paper. My mind is focused on the words “Live Life” – how better to live life than with a lovely cup of tea or an ice crteam sundae? We’ll see where this goes…



20 Responses to “March 31, 2012”

  1. Linda Loper Says:

    Love the values and composition

  2. Chris Carter Says:

    Great idea. I think it works well. Starting with basics and adding a bit more if so inclined.

    • Thanks Chris! I’ve had some success – two people from one class and one person from my second class thought they wanted to do more with watercolor and were going to buy some basic materials.

  3. The first one (with the apples) is AMAZING, Linda. 🙂

  4. hannekekoop Says:

    What a lovely bright paintings. Really inviting to paint.

    • Thank you, Hanneke. Judi taught us this approach so we could work on color mixing and building color by glazing. At the end of the workshop she said if we were ever stuck when painting a still life because we were unsure what to do with the background to try this. I also did a small painting of a historic building using squares and rectangles in the background.

  5. judy Says:

    Oh, Apples and Circles is the most fun! What gorgeous colors! What a generous and thoughtful gift to share your joy of painting with the nonprofits you support.

  6. Beth Parker Says:

    These are both wonderful, Linda! You are so kind to do this kind of outreach work! And I really believe ice cream makes anybody smile!! My hubby and I say… It’s impossible to be sad or mad when you are eating ice cream. 🙂

  7. jwms1 Says:

    Both are so suggestive of spring. Well done!

  8. ruthsartwork Says:

    Wonderful ideas Linda. It is so important for a beginner not to be overwhelmed the first time and really enjoy the experience enough to go and further explore. I’ve been in classes where this has not been considered and I saw people give up quickly and so unnecessarily.

  9. Nice work Linda. Enjoyed your thought process too.

  10. Barry Coombs Says:

    I just showed your apples to one of my evening watercolour students. She was very impressed with the way you’ve fit the stems into the little valleys. Nicely done.

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