Linda Halcomb's Blog

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December 26, 2017 December 26, 2017

Filed under: Daily Post,Drawings — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:24 am
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Working with my bamboo pens I am finding it very difficult to do a finished drawing. It may just be the pens I have but none have a fine or very fine tip so my drawings look rustic at best and crude at worst. In my National Wildlife magazine I found an image I wanted very much to draw. It is of a large bighorn sheep. He is regal with powerful muscles and an alert posture as though he is on watch. He is the protector of his domain – at his prime. I did most of the drawing with my bamboo pens but finished the drawing/sketch (in a fit of frustration!) with a standard ink pen. The ink pen gave me the fine lines I needed to feel better about the drawing. It has some positives but I see some “kludgy” (to use a software term) areas that look smudgy and the head is too dark and short and I don’t have the eyes quite right. Ink is so unforgiving. Even more so than watercolor… Practice, practice, practice!


Bamboo Pen Practice 3




December 23, 2017 December 23, 2017

Filed under: Daily Post,Drawings — lindahalcombfineart @ 2:48 pm
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I have been engrossed in Walter Isaacson’s new biography of Leonardo da Vinci. The content is encyclopedic – rich and well written. The book is printed on elegant paper with a beautiful font and wonderful, clear images. The book includes many examples of Leonardo’s pen drawings. His mastery is dazzling and also inspiring. I will never approach the capability of Leonardo but I did get out my bamboo pens again and created a new practice sheet. I used images from my latest copy of National Wildlife (National Wildlife Federation monthly magazine). I love and am continually inspired by nature. I completed three rough sketches, the last of which I finished with colored pencils. The top drawing is of a monarch butterfly enjoying a blazing star, the second drawing is of three coneflowers, which are native to Indiana, and the third sketch I did is of a Southern Masked Weaver. I was fascinated by the colors shimmering through the feathers of this bird that is primarily yellow. He is weaving greenery into a nest.


Bamboo Pen Pactice 3




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


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


April 24, 2015 April 25, 2015

Filed under: Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:13 am
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Again I have been Missing In Action. On January 29, 2015 I broke my collarbone. It was a bad break and was in an area that is slow to heal. I’ve had problem with painful muscle cramps that ran all the way from my hand to my neck. It has been a tough time. I am just about ready to return to normal life and hope to be released by my orthopedic physician on May 5th.

I have been coaching a friend of mine who thinks she is not very artistic. The artist Mordecai Rosenstein was artist-in-residence at her temple and gave away these drawings to members of the congregation.Rosenstein Drawing

My friend really wanted to do a painting of this drawing (she owns a Rosenstein print and an original) so I transferred the drawing to watercolor paper and set her up with paints and brushes. She first used markers to do a color study.Color Study - Rosenstein

We talked about some problems like the very dark center and she used colored pencils and a smaller copy to make adjustments. I like the above study because you can see her notes and samples around the edge of the paper. Here’s round 2.Color Study 2 - Rosenstein

Then she started painting. It took several weeks but it is finally finished and it was so much fun to do together. A real work of friendship. It is good to be back!

Rosenstein - Final

Rosenstein – Final


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