Linda Halcomb's Blog

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December 9, 2017 December 9, 2017

Recently, while I’ve been creating my ATC collages, I have been itching to pick up a pencil or a paint brush. Yesterday, I finally had a lull in my volunteer activities. Inspired by the great teacher and artist Barry Combs I decided to try out three bamboo pens that I purchased several years ago. Barry recently had a post on his blog that described a drawing class he taught using reed pens (to learn more look here). I was not familiar with these pens and I think drawing with a pen is particularly unforgiving but I felt brave so I pulled out my bamboo pens and my Higgins “Black Magic” ink and began to doodle. Here are my supplies

 

Bamboo Pen Supplies

 

 

I began to draw straight lines, curved lines, to write my name, to use hatching to shade, to make shapes and to try to give them volume and shading. Each of my pens had a narrow and a broad tip and my largest pen would not fit in my ink bottle so I only have four columns of doodles. Here is my practice page. Can you tell I love to draw apples?

 

 

Bamboo Pen Practice 1

 

 

After I was warmed up I decided to try a couple of heads. I have been looking at the lovely heads done by the Renaissance artists so I decided to work with women’s heads. I have also been watching a series that takes place in Canada before World War I so I wanted to give a “heritage” look to the heads. I wanted a low bun and downcast or closed eyes. I originally wanted to give a feeling of peace or reflection. As you can see my second lady (in profile) seems to have taken on an attitude! I had tremendous trouble with shading and you can see I’ve touched up my botches with opaque white watercolor. Once I took an Ink and Wash class and am much more comfortable shading with a wash rather than hatch marks. I clearly have more work to do. It was fun and I like the physical feel of working with these pens so…more to come!

 

Bamboo Pen Practice 2

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March 26, 2017 March 26, 2017

Filed under: Daily Post,Drawings — lindahalcombfineart @ 6:30 am
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Tomorrow I have my last Life Drawing Studio for this 5 week session. It has been a very different and valuable experience and I will enroll again later in the year. Probably the most beneficial thing is that I set aside 3 hours once a week for drawing.

I love to draw. I always have. I remember drawing  when I was in fourth grade and received a John Nagy  drawing set (obviously I was already drawing or I would not have received the set!). I used to create all of my own paper dolls copying stylish clothes from our Sears Roebuck catalog. I even buffed the surface of the paper with my finger to create the look of fur when I gave my doll a leopard fur coat. (not sure that Sears carried fur coats!)

During this last session I used all of the 2 minute warm ups for blind contour drawing and I also “blocked” my figure first hoping to improve the proportions of my figures. I felt like my drawings were better (though still imperfect). One thing I know…the human body is one of the most difficult things to draw!

This studio is at 9 am on Monday mornings. I call it my Nudes at 9 time… 🙂

Life Studio b 03202017

Life Studio a 03202017

 

 

 

March 6, 2017 March 8, 2017

Filed under: Daily Post,Drawings — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:13 am
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This Monday I had my second Life Studio experience. Our model was male, lean and muscled and very good at holding challenging poses. I am using large sheets of newsprint for my sketches and am drawing with charcoal, ebony and graphite pencils. I also tried a sanguine Conte pencil this week. I want to draw with different types of drawing materials during this 5 week program. This is not a class. It is open studio and we all do our own thing. One artist works in watercolor and one uses her computer and completes her drawings digitally (the model was fascinated by this option).

I am working on my biggest challenges – hands and foreshortening…grrrrrr! Also for some reason I had trouble with proportions during this session. My eye-hand coordination was not as good this week.

 

Life Drawing c 03062017

Life Studio a 03062017

Life Drawing b 03062017

 

February 27, 2017 February 28, 2017

Filed under: Drawings,Portraits & Self Portraits — lindahalcombfineart @ 8:36 am
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Recently I have been struggling with motivation. I decided that taking a class might add the incentive to be more disciplined so I registered for a Life Drawing Open Studio. We had our first session yesterday and I really enjoyed it. My mindset is that this class is just for fun and I can sketch what and how I want but I did learn very rapidly the importance of placement in the room. Need to get there earlier next time! I am not going to post everything I did yesterday but thought I would post a couple.

life-drawing-02272017

Both are 15-20 minute sketches on newsprint. In a life drawing class it is rather unusual to do a portrait but I thought I would give it a try. Here is the result…

life-drawing-potrait-02272017

 

July 27, 2014 July 27, 2014

Filed under: Daily Post,Drawings — lindahalcombfineart @ 2:20 pm
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Well, I’m slow but I’m steady. I walk my dogs every morning at Ft Benjamin Harrison State Park. This is a vey nice, welcoming Indiana State Park on the east side of Indianapolis. Ft Ben holds one of the military’s largest finance centers (payrolls, etc). The Finance Center is still in operation but the other military functions were ended in the 1990’s and the fort is now a state park with two lakes, a stable and miles of trails full of joggers, bikers, skaters, dog walkers and families. I have always been fascinated by the old, weathered trees. I don’t know why, but old trees frequently seem to have a personality – a history that is written on their surface like the lines in a person’s face. I wanted to do a drawing of the tangled, interwoven roots in one section of the park. The soil has been washed away and the grand old trees stand exposed. I completed this drawing yesterday and was pretty happy with it.

Ft Ben SP 1

 

July 7, 2014 July 7, 2014

Filed under: Daily Post,Drawings — lindahalcombfineart @ 4:39 am
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For the last 18 months I have been struggling with my art. I had a burst of creativity at the time I lost my husband to cancer and since then I have generally been unhappy with my work. The weather and the seasons seem to be the only thing that inspires me. My watercolors are muddy and while I occasionally do a nice painting I seem to lack consistency. Everything I paint is a relearning experience. Whine! Whine! Whine!

I just returned from a family trip to Italy. As I prepared for the trip I went through two wonderful Teaching Company courses, one covered the career and art of Michelangelo and one Leonardo da Vinci. It suddenly hit me that all great artists are great draughtsmen. So I am going back to the basics, starting with drawing. This is actually a super “good thing” because I love to draw. I took one of my old beat-up sketchbooks with me to Italy. I didn’t have time to sketch until our last day. We were in Venice and I did two quick architectural sketches. neither is very good. The crowds were heavy, the sun was bright and I had to dodge and weave to see my subject. BUT it was fun and I lost myself for a few hours. Here is my rough sketch of a corner of the Basilica of Sam Marco.

Corner of the Basilica of San Marco

Corner of the Basilica of San Marco

And her is San Giorgio Maggiore drawn peaking between visitors in line to enter the Doge’s Palace…very tough to see and to capture any detail!

San Giorgio maggiore

San Giorgio maggiore

 

January 6, 2014 January 6, 2014

Filed under: Abstract,Daily Post,Drawings — lindahalcombfineart @ 11:49 am
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A very happy new year to everyone. I have been busy with family activities and year-end tours at the Indianapolis Museum of art. I have been drawing sporadically but have not had time to finish anything – until this morning! It is amazing what a wind chill of 35 below zero and 12 inches of snow will do for you – stay home and work on projects you have in process!!!!

With my latest line drawing I wanted to move away from the very formal, symmetrical, precise style to something more random and unstructured. Here is my most recent gray scale drawing. I wasn’t totally happy with it because I felt it needed more “weight” in the upper left quadrant and I hadn’t yet worked out how I was going to handle that problem.

Lines 4 Gray Scale

Lines 4 Gray Scale

I first decided to use my darkest values in the top half of the drawing but I really like color so indigo blue didn’t excite me. Instead I worked to get a balanced color composition and added additional lines to rebalance the composition. I started by making all of my colors muted and drab but couldn’t leave it that way. I just prefer cleaner, brighter colors! maybe it’s because I’m watching the portrait section of a Teaching Company class on Dutch art that’s full of blacks, grays and earth tones. I hunger for color…

Lines 4 Color

Lines 4 Color