Linda Halcomb's Blog

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February 2, 2011 February 3, 2011

I seem to be obsessed with eyes and the faces that should go with them. Yesterday I found two more sets of eyes that interested me and, because of the snow and ice, I had time to work with them. Both are done in my small watermedia sketchbook and are roughly 5″ X 7″ in size. The first is my visual idea of a business man – canny, astute, cunning, reserved, questioning. I thought he deserved a monochromatic treatment because that is what he lets the world see. Also stepping into the light – perhaps realizing that profits do not make environmental degradation right. I don’t know – sounds puffed up but here he is.

The Business Man

After completing the first face I decided to challenge myself by working with color. I used my aquabrush and watercolor crayons and was amazed at the lovely, realistic skintones I could achieve with the crayons. I used a wet aquabrush to dab the end of the crayons. This works really well for certain pastel-colored effects. In this case I like the eyes and the beard…can’t say much more…just started working and here is what happened.

Bearded man

I am trying to develop my skill by putting each face in a slightly different posture. I just realized I really need to do more/something with the background but these are just sketches…oh well!


January 31, 2011 February 1, 2011

I am fascinated by eyes – animal or human – and I saw this riveting set of eyes in a magazine yesterday. I started with the eyes and drew a face around them. I saw EXPERIENCE and wanted to reflect that by the age, ruggedness and corregated texture of the face. I did a quick gesture like sketch in graphite and then used an aquabrush and a watercolor crayon to paint this.


I wanted a tentative skeptical expression and loved the squinty left eye I got.


January 23, 2011 January 24, 2011

Filed under: Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:02 am
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Big day yesterday of trying to paint while watching football. I have not created an ATC (artist trading card) for several months so I decided to do one with a poinsettia as the subject. I painted it using the aquabrushes and the S&W pencils for the first step. I created a gray (grisaille) underpainting. I have never done this and did not really know how it would work but it turned out OK. There was more texture and detail than you can see in this scan.

Poinsettia ATC - Step 1

I painted the ATC in layers starting with the aquabrushes and watercolor crayons. I could not get deep, rich color so I embellished with colored pencil, marker and even a few strokes of Winsor Red.

Poinsettia ATC

I have learned to use whatever it takes to make the painting “right”.


January 22, 2011 January 23, 2011

I have been wanting to do a painting of a poinsettia for a couple of years but, during the busy holiday season when the plants are available, I never think of it. I received a beautiful poinsettia plant as a gift this year and yesterday was the day. I also wanted to do a sketch using the S&W pencils on paper that is made for wet media so last night I did it. I got two birds with one stone as the old saying goes. (Somehow I couldn’t force myself to use the word kill!)


Poinsettia Sketch using Sketch & Wash Pencils and Aquabrushes

The results are much better if you use the right paper. I achieved the best results by wetting my aquabrush and then dapping the lead at the end of the pencil. Kind of the same way I typically use watercolor crayons. I am learning and I think you can see the improvement. I am still not really happy with what I can achieve (I am not getting dark darks) but I am having fun trying!




January 20, 2011 January 21, 2011

Filed under: Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 5:57 am
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More fun with the aquabrushes today. I did this little painting in my sketchbook. The subject is Paradise Fish. I think they are lovely and luminous. I did them with two of my aquabrushes and my set of Pelikan gouache pan paints. I am really getting the hang of working with these brushes and like the glow in the painting. I touched up with colored pencils because I had trouble with the blues. Being goache they didn’t glow!

Paradise Fish


By the way, the last two days I have been painting in a Bee Paper “Aquabee” Super Deluxe 9″ X 6″ Sketchbook and I like the way the paper handles lots of water. Bravo to Bee!



January 19, 2011 January 20, 2011

Filed under: Daily Post,Portraits & Self Portraits,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 6:57 am
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I had fun yesterday playing with my aquabrushes and I feel like I’m learning alot about control and how to use them. I can see how these will be very beneficial when traveling. No water to spill!

I did two more faces but I will admit I took the easy way out and used watercolor rather than the sketch and wash pencils.

Asian Student done with Aquabrush and Burnt Sienna Watercolor

I switched to a new sketchbook that I bought late last year. The paper is heavy and suitable for wet media. What a difference!

Asian Lady

I thought I should use the right paper in order to give these new tools a fair shot. I have grown to like using the aquabrushes. They are very practical. Maybe tomorrow I will try the S&W pencils again on this heavier paper.


January 18, 2011 January 19, 2011

I must admit that I am having difficulty finding time and motivation to be creative right now. I am not going to bore you with my whining but I AM trying to get moving! Last night I decided to try a small sketch in an older sketchbook. Last year I bought a set of aquabrushes and had used one brush, one time. Two years ago I bought 2 Wash & Sketch pencils and have only used them (for their purpose) a couple of times. I decided to work with these two items since I hate to buy materials and then leave them unused. I always figure that if they are sold in the catalogs they must be useful to other artists. It’s just a matter of education and training. Right? Right! Anyway I painted this little portrait/face and learned alot.

Woman's Face, Aquabrush and Sketch & Wash Pencil, 5" X 7" Sketchbook

To use the pencils, which leave streaky lines when I draw and then paint over them, I used the wet brush to get color from the pencil tip. I am learning to use the brush to get different color values.  I also tried a small amount of charcoal pencil in the background to see if painting it with clear water would “seal” it and this also worked pretty well. All in all, a good learning experience!