Linda Halcomb's Blog

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January 16, 2017 January 17, 2018

Filed under: Abstract,Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 9:43 am
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Brrrr! It is freezing outside…good day to paint…Once again I have been inspired by my blogging friend Barry Combs. Barry did a workshop and taught his students a very practical approach to create abstract paintings. I decided to use the first exercise done during his class which is described here . It is to create an abstract using one color (he used Sepia). Step one is to create a drawing on your paper. Barry used overlapping fruit. I am using AGAIN circles and lines. (PS can you tell I have a degree in math from Purdue University? Love the geometric shapes and am always looking for ways to integrate them in my art!)


Sepia Abstract Exercise 1 jan2018



During the next step you paint most of the shapes with a mid-value mix leaving some white for contrast. Because, again, I had some “felting” of the paper I went over the shapes more than once but I think this is still a mid-value.


Sepia Abstract Practice 2 Jan2018


During Step 3 I applied a darker value of sepia. Just a tidbit: One reason I did this exercise is because Sepia and Payne’s Gray have always been two of my favorite colors, especially when used together to create rough wooden structures.


Sepia Abstract Practice 3 Jan2018


Finally you add a fourth layer of very dark color. Barry has taught a very simple, straight forward approach that works well for me right now as I reenter the world of watercolor. I enjoyed creating this little work of art and plan to try the second process described in Barry’s post today or tomorrow…so on to color and scaling up!


Sepia Abstract Practice 4 Jan 2018





January 14, 2018 January 15, 2018

Filed under: Abstract,Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 10:39 am
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Happy New Year to Everyone! I have been slogging along trying to find time to draw and paint but haven’t been very successful. The weather has been frigid and we’ve had high winds and snow. With the new year I have had lots to do and am struggling to maintain my exercise routine with the nasty weather. Very stressful. I have been sketching with a set of Micron pens with sepia ink but I keep getting distracted and haven’t finished anything. I tried a simple watercolor exercise last weekend and let it get away from me. I just created a lovely painting of mud…quite discouraging!

This weekend I was brave enough to get out my watercolors again. I have a new set of paints that I wanted to try. I did some color testing earlier and found the colors to be nice, even vibrant. I would say my exercise was partially successful. At least I got paint on a brush and finished something!


Circles and Lines exercise 01142018


You may see more of these “circle and line” exercises since this is an activity I learned from and artist named Judi Betts at a workshop a few years ago and I love it. You work with versions of the three primary colors and I do this activity occasionally because it lets me warm-up before more serious painting, test new materials and learn about new colors and color mixing. I did learn two things.

I used a 6 in X 9 in block of Canson Aquarelle paper. Last weekend I used it and I glazed pure unmixed colors. Some sections had 10 or more glazes. Both last weekend when I glazed my colors and this weekend when I mixed my colors I saw some “felting” or “pilling” of the paper. I think I work too wet to use this paper for my larger works.

I also used a new set of paints. I ordered them by accident but the reds were vibrant during color testing so I want to continue to work with them. They are called MYARTSCAPE artist quality watercolors. The reds are carmine and vermillion which I don’t normally use. What I found, I do like the colors but if I had a blob of paint remaining on my palette it did not reconstitute well after it dried. I kept finding small particles of dried paint in my brush while painting. The paint looked like it was smooth and well dissolved but wasn’t. I had several hard lines streaking through my painting that I had to try to smooth out.

So with both the paper and paint I would say I had mixed results but I guess that’s why I do this kind of experiment. At least my little painting uses warm colors…good to see on this very frigid day.


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


December 8, 2013 December 8, 2013

Filed under: Abstract,Daily Post,Drawings — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:54 am
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I am still playing with my markers and colored pencils.Using line and color is not only fun but is very rewarding. While doing these geometric drawings I think about every line – will it be thick or thin? will it be vertical, horizontal or diagonal? What value will it have? I felt so drawn to this design that I seriously considered leaving it black and white

Lines 3 Gray Scale

Lines 3 Gray Scale

I decided to use a vibrant yellow-green and to use only this one rather neon color. The design is rather complex and I wanted to keep the color scheme simple. I think it works!

Lines 3 Color

Lines 3 Color

The gray scale markers are cool gray rather than the warm gray markers. I think that’s why they look almost blue beside the yellow-green. The warm gray markers frequently look pink in photographs.


November 29, 2013 November 29, 2013

Filed under: Abstract,Daily Post,Drawings — lindahalcombfineart @ 6:12 am
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I have become fascinated by Henri Matisse and his ability to integrate very complex patterns, colors and objects to make a unified, harmonious whole.  Composition is my weakest point and I continue to struggle, study and learn as much as I can about the subject. Thinking about Matisse and one of the paintings in the exhibit at the IMA, I decided to work with line again. I used my gray scale markers to draw a sheet full of lines and circles.  Maybe it is because I love math and logic but I seem to gravitate towards very orderly, balanced (does that mean boring???) arrangements.

Lines - Gray Scale

Lines – Gray Scale

This seems very mechanical but I liked it. I had just about decided not to add color but gave myself a little poke and said – hey! this is an excerise! See if color makes it better – you’ve got nothing to lose! So I played with bright colors that I like and that work well together. Here’s the final drawing.

Lines - Color

Lines – Color

Now if I could just learn to shot a properly positioned photo!


May 17, 2011 May 18, 2011

Filed under: Abstract,Daily Post,Uncategorized,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:40 am
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Ken had another round of stem cell harvesting on Monday and since then I have been thinking about blood, blood cells, machines and the prisms that are used to process the blood. All of this sturm and drang let to  my first Cells painting. This painting is 12″ X 16″ on Kilimanjaro paper. As you can see, I included a couple of new elements this time.

Cells 1

In the past I’ve always used only one diameter for the circles but, in this case, I was thinking about blood cells – white, red, platelets, stem cells – different sizes and colors. I also was focused on the light that I watch each time we go through this harvesting step. Deep down in the machine, the nurses monitor a line of light that is supposed to have a red line running through it. There are times when occurences coincide fortuitously (how’s that for a mouth full!). Last week a friend of mine gave me a stash of art supplies that included artist’s tape which I had never seen or used before. Last week watercoloredhands (may 13, 2011) had a post that described her use of artist’s tape to paint the edges of a building in a piece she is working on. Everything came together and I used the artist’s tape to develop the rays of light. At one point I thought I had “lost it” because the painting looked too dark. After it dried it resembled the colors you see when working with blood and plasma.

Wish us well – tomorrow morning we find out if we got a vaccine from this run!


April 21, 2011 April 22, 2011

Filed under: Abstract,Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 8:44 am
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This painting is different from the rather emotional work I’ve been doing and it started with an accident. I pulled out my 6″ X 8″ block of Fluid paper, removed Got the Blues 2 that I posted on April 15, 2011 and there to my surprise was a light streak of blue running all the way down the next sheet of paper. Fluid blocks are only sealed on two sides rather than four because the paper does not buckle much and it dries very flat. BUT, and this is a big but, if you work really wet like I do when paint runs off the side of the paper it apparently can run between the sheets. (Now I wipe the wet edges!) I decided to take this as a challenge but couldn’t get an idea to start with. So, you know me, I started drawing circles and splashing paint.

Orbs 1

I even used my little Cheap Joe’s spray bottles (which by the way, didn’t work very well.) I wound up with something that looks a little surreal. Ken said it looked like the solar system. I thought it looked like planets aligning. It also looks like something out of Harry Potter with the darkness beginning to flow forth. Anyway, I decided to keep it simple and just called it Orbs 1.


December 18, 2010 December 19, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 2:52 pm
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When I posted my “Sentinel” pieces Leslie asked me if I had anymore good stuff tucked away.  I have talked so much about my interest in geometry this year that I thought I would show Geometry #1. This painting was done in 2008 and was my original attempt to incorporate geometry into my art.  You can see the curves and lines, circles and trapezoids.  I donated this painting to our local PBS station for their silent auction and received a wonderful note from the person that bought it. It now hangs in her office at the home of Indiana Historic Preservation. When I look at it I think of spinning planets or an overflowing treasure chest full of gold and colorful jewels.

Geometry #1 , 12" X 16" on Illustration Board



June 25, 2010 June 26, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post,Drawings,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:13 am
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Yesterday was my birthday – not one of the big milestone ones and as I get older they just blend into any other day. My grandsons visited and swimming was the major activity but we also talked about our next art project. They couldn’t quite “get it” so while they were in the pool I made this sample with watercolor markers.

Art Exercise 2

As you may have heard (ok MANY times) I love geometry so I had to incorporate a little of that and the feather is inspired by my friend Wric (visit his blog by clicking on 19 Planets in my Blogroll) who has been doing fun things with feathers. We decided this was a little too complicated for them so the next time they are out we are going to create a simpler version of the same thing. It was so much fun!


May 22, 2010 May 22, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:15 am
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Horrible, busy week! Today I do my fifth tour of the week (at the art museum). Five tours and all different! I am also plugging away but not happy with my Iris painting. So now I will stop whining! So sorry…

I thought I would share another 2007 painting that shows how I incorporate my love of geometry. I did three paintings in this series. This particular one was one of the first paintings I ever sold. I still love this design concept (by the way, courtesy of Judy Betts) and am thinking about whether to use it again in combination with the florals I am currently fascinated by … ah, the wheels they are a’turnin’.

Apples & Circles #3

I hope to have something new to show Sunday or Monday. Hope everyone has a lovely weekend painting!