Linda Halcomb's Blog

Just another weblog

November 5, 2014 November 5, 2014

I have been doing a lot of painting in my head recently (too bad I have not been painting in my studio!). Recently both the Artist’s magazine and Watercolor magazine had articles about Judi Betts and her approach to bringing life to mid-value paintings. I took a workshop from Judi several years ago and was familiar with her approach to underpainting. She starts with color blocks in complementary values and then, using the same complementary hues, builds up her paintings. I decided to try a small painting and started with an underpainting of red/green and blue/orange to do a painting called The Elder. I couldn’t work my way through this approach to a finished painting but I did continue to work in a more traditional and realistic way. The painting was very tight and lifeless until I started painting fast and loose. That was my learning.

The result was this painting inspired by a photograph in Smithsonian magazine:

The Elder

The Elder


May 31, 2012 June 1, 2012

Filed under: Daily Post,Portraits & Self Portraits,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 6:22 am
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I have set aside my Yupo for the moment. I stumbled on a photograph of a man with the biggest smile I ever saw. It was enchanting. As many of you know I am fascinated by faces and frequently do rough sketches from magazines and then make them my own. I usually am intrigued by one facial feature that catches my eye. In this case it was the crinkly, laughing eyes. I started thinking about what could make him laugh – he’s having fun – why? – he’s at a festival – what’s happening? – fireworks – shazam! I can use my abstract palette of pthalo blue, quin magenta and cad yellow to make it took like he’s watching fireworks. What fun!!!!!! Are YOU smiling?

Laughing man


March 6, 2012 March 8, 2012

Filed under: Daily Post,Portraits & Self Portraits,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 5:09 am
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I have another face for your consideration. I think I was fascinated by the blowing, ruffled hair on this one and the last. Once again, this is a 30 minute sketch done in my Bee sketchbook with Pebeo pan watercolors and Aquastroke brushes (two of which are about worn out). Its a small book about 6″ X 9″. It tolerates wet media but I’ve noticed that I get “pilling” on the surface after several washes and I have to take it off with my finger tip.


December 18, 2011 December 18, 2011

I want to thank all of my friends in the blogging world for your kindness and for sending blessings, prayers and positive thoughts our way. It has been a very trying and challenging period for us. To make a long story short I will tell you only that in the last two and a half weeks Ken has been in two hospitals and last Thursday he was admitted to inpatient hospice. His pain was uncontrolled and he has refused to eat and drink. At the hospice they have adjusted his pain management plan and he is painfree at this time. We have had two and a half days of comfort, quiet and peace. If this continues he will probably come home Monday afternoon. Hospice will be with us from here on out and they are wonderful and the facility is homelike and incredibly peaceful and comfortable.

I have only had the energy to do one drawing. It is in colored pencil and as you can see was done several days ago. It is my little Sami girl and I am still trying to capture the fact that she glows with light.

Sami Girl Redux in Colored Pencil

I don’t know how often I will be able to post. Ken will have my attention from here on out. Thank you all again for your kindness, generosity and support.



March 21, 2011 March 22, 2011

Filed under: Daily Post,Portraits & Self Portraits,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 5:48 am
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I am posting the second sketch I did based on photos coming from Japan. This woman captured my interest immediately. Here was this woman with her stylish hair cut and color, with her fur collared coat sitting alone on a heap of rubble. She was so alone, so tired and showed such sadness that the contrast between her past and her present captured my imagination.

People of Japan 2

This sketch was done in a 6″ X 9″ sketchbook with aquabrushes and watercolor.

I am impressed with the way all of the Japanese people are dealing with this hard time and want to acknowledge the courage, responsibility and total lack of selfishness of the workers fighting to contain the disaster at the nuclear power plan. Their selfless devotion to their job and to protecting others fills me with admiration.


February 7, 2011 February 7, 2011

One more time…I saw a face with rather intense eyes and it made me think of a Nordic explorer or Scandinavian fisherman. For this sketch I painted a watercolor underpainting and finished with colored pencil. I must have really been tensed up waiting for the Super Bowl because I can see where I incised the paper with my 2B pencil as I made my gestural drawing. Now that’s pressure!

Nordic Explorer


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!


January 9, 2011 January 10, 2011

Filed under: Daily Post,Drawings,Portraits & Self Portraits — lindahalcombfineart @ 8:21 am
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I am fascinated by faces and find portraits very difficult to draw. I am just learning to paint them and have completed two watercolor paintings. I started doing pencil portraits of my boyfriends when I was in middle school. I have only done a few because portraits of real people seem to take me so long to do. I have always been a real perfectionist about these because the people were so important to me. I thought I would share the drawing I made of my husband after we started dating in 1975. I am not sure I could do much better today!

Ken 1975

The graphite is a little faded today and the paper from my sketchbook has yellowed a little but I can still feel the golden glow as the sun hits his light brown eyes.


March 2, 2010 March 2, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 6:34 pm
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Another fun, fun, fun watercolor portrait finished today. No background – just the head. I am learning so much by painting these faces. I loved the shock of hair on this boy. I am using cadmium red both mixed and alone very frequently. It seems to bring the face to life. I think I may still lighten up the mouth a little. It looks too much like a girl. Still having trouble with the nose and getting the soft, almost peach-fuzzy look of a childs mouth. Great challenge, great fun, great day!

Sunburned Boy