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!


June 5, 2010 June 6, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:27 am
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I wanted to share just a bit about the Chinese Pictographic Script. It was originally  used to carve religious text foretelling the future on bone and tortoise shell. These are known as oracle bones. We know the script was used 4000 years ago and 5000characters have been found about half of which are readable. Research indicates that the characters were painted on with a brush before being carved. After being carved the pictographs were filled in with black, brown or red color to make them readable.

Rainbow Pictograph - ATC

Last night I decided to work on some ATC paintings. I wanted to reforce the shape of some of the characters I find beautiful. I used my watercolor crayons for the colored backgrounds. The symbol above is the one for rainbow. I think I will combine cloud, rain and rainbow in a slightly larger painting soon.

Self Pictograph - ATC

Cloud Pictograph - ATC

I also did two ATC’s based on practice work I showed yesterday. As I said, I am fascinbated by the association the ancient Chinese made between the breath and an individual life so I had to do Self. I also wanted to play around with the symbol for cloud since I will probably use it for my first multi-symbol painting. This is really fun and I am going to write the history on the back of the ATC’s before I give them to family as gifts.

I also wanted to share the name of the book I am using. It is The Complete Guide to Chinese Calligraphy by Qu Lei Lei. It includes the most amazing thing. It includes a pad of Magic Paper. This paper has sample symbols for each script printed on it and you use plain water to practice. When the water dries. The paper is again pristine. I also have used it to practice characters that are not included in the samples. I just write over the top and then they disappear! It is great!!!


April 27, 2010 April 28, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:41 am
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Last  night I was a multi-tasker to the MAX. I watched NCIS, Dancing with the Stars and painted a new ATC…all at the same time! This little painting is of my absolutely favorite blooming tree, the pink dogwood. I fell in love with the color of these blossoms when I was very young. A neightbor had a large, old dogwood that was covered with large pink blooms every Spring.  In my young eyes it was a thing of beauty. It was magnifcent! Today, in my neighborhood in Indianapolis there is a fungus that kills dogwood trees. I have tried to start a dogwood tree and after three failed attempts I have given up. Luckily there are several robust, older trees nearby that I can still enjoy.

Pink Dogwood - ATC

Again, this was done primarily with my new watercolor crayons with a little watercolor pencil trown in.


April 20, 2010 April 22, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 9:09 am
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I had fun doing another ATC on Tuesday. The ATC’s are nice because they are small so the materials are cheap and they don’t take a lot of time to complete. They are a great for experiementation. Since late last year I have been trying out new materials for my watercolor paintings. I recently bought a set of Cheap Joe’s Watercolor crayons. A friend of mine used a set from Daniel Smith during a plein air workshop last summer. They seem easy to transport and like they might be useful for plein air so I bought the smallest, simplest set to try out. I did this small ATC of tulips from a photo I took in my yard.

Spring Tulips - ATC

I scanned the painting and also shot a photo. This is the photo but neither the scan nor the ATC captured the softness in the actual painting.

It was fun but challenging playing with the crayons. I had a horrible problem with the outer wax that coats the crayons. I had to scrub the tip of the crayon to remove the wax and then dip a wet brush into the hole I had rubbed in the tip. When I tried coloring on the paper I thought it left too much crayon and it was hard to dissolve. It probably still had outer wax mixed with the color on the paper. Suggestions anyone?

I’m off to work on a study report on Jean Baptiste Carpeaux for my study group at the IMA. We have his bust The Negress that I find moving and incredibly beautiful.