Linda Halcomb's Blog

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April 25, 2013 April 26, 2013

Filed under: Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:02 am
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I really admire Barry Coombs and his ability to inspire artists both old and new. I love to watch his blog and to learn (from a long distance away) along with his local students. He recently started a new set of classes so I am going to tag along as I can find time. Here is the link to Lesson 1.

I started by sketching a draft of the composition I chose. I always move things around and reorganize the components – at least a little.

BC Lesson 1 Sketches

BC Lesson 1 Sketches

Then I worked on planning the color scheme and got a sketch I liked the first time .

BC Lesson 1 - Color 1

BC Lesson 1 – Color 1

I did two more color sketches. The first used the warm color scheme that Barry uses so much in his “set ups”. I just blocked in the shapes and the colors were OK but didn’t grab me this time.

Gift Bag Color Study 2

The final color sketch used primary and secondary colors. Once again I blocked in the shapes and I wasn’t dazzled with this color scheme either. All of the color sketches are done in my AquaBee sketchbook. I probably won’t have time to turn these into a painting but completing all of the sketches has been excellent practice for me.

BC Lesson 1 - Color 3

BC Lesson 1 – Color 3


January 19, 2013 January 20, 2013

Filed under: Daily Post,Drawings,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:41 am
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I mentioned in my last post that I wanted to focus my attention on improving my ability to paint realistically. Over the last two years I have been consistently impressed by the teaching, paintings and generosity of Barry Coombs. He posts his lessons and examples from his classes on his blog (see my Blogroll). I have always thought I would benefit from trying the exercises he teaches in class. Well, the time is now and he has just recently started a new term. Here is the link for week one.  I started by making a series of compositional sketches using Barry’s “set up”. His compositions literally glow with vibrant color so I was itching to move on but I made myself THINK as I did my sketches.

Compositional Sketches - Barry Coombs Week One

Compositional Sketches – Barry Coombs Week One

I thought the final two compositions were the best so I darkened the basic outlines and moved on.  Next I completed color sketches using the last two compositions.  These were done in a Bee sketchbook that handles watermedia (although not like WC paper). These are not meant to be finished paintings but were helpful as I determined my color scheme. I decided to use Barry’s original color scheme with a very dark background that is primarily brown. I hope I get started on the painting today. The pile of shoes he used for week two is beckoning!

Color Sketch 2

Color Sketch 2

Color Sketch 1

Color Sketch 1



January 13, 2013 January 13, 2013

Filed under: Daily Post,Drawings — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:13 am
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Another page of sketches from Gulf Shores. I was amazed at the color diversity I saw looking at Heather’s shell collection this year. I have never seen a green shell when collecting in the past. I also have never seen the fragile beauty of the tiny shell with the purplish stripes. The green, purple and pinkish/gray shells were all tiny, fragile things – obviously not drawn to scale. I was just trying to capture the general shape, color and direction of the stripes and blotches. I really mangled the purple stripes which were a delicate purple/magenta color much lighter than shown. Oh well – I was on vacation… I’m always too hard on myself. It’s our nature, isn’t it?

Just a quick note about the BP Oil spill. Workers were on the beach two days during our visit searching for and cleaning small blobs of oil from the beach. This activity ended while we were visiting Gulf Shores. I did not see any oil in evidence but my son-in-law saw two small blobs. The birds and fish and dolphins appear to have recovered but I thought you would find it interesting to know that BP continued to fund clean-up until January 2 or 3, 2013 and that it has now stopped. I hope the municipal areas continue to monitor the situation since this was such a massive environmental disaster. Again, I must be honest – I didn’t see any problem during my visit. Here are my shells:

Gulf Shores Shells

Gulf Shores Shells


August 25, 2011 August 26, 2011

Filed under: Daily Post,Drawings — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:32 am
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This has been a really hard few weeks. Not only was Ken in the hospital for a week but we lost one of our dogs. She was a little, four pound toy Pomeranian and a cutie, cuddly, snuggle bunny. AND a very independent cuss. She was over 12 and had Cushings when we adopted her two and a half years ago. We were able to get it under control and she was a very special little character.

Ken started chemo yesterday. He didn’t recover well from his time in the hospital so the oncologist said “it’s time but it’s your choice”. The infusion yesterday went off very well. The low point for red and white cells is at about days 7 through 10. The pharmacy was running 2 hours behind so I had time to do some sketching while we waited.

Red Delicious Sketch 1

This time I did sketches of Red Delicious apples from a Whole Living magazine.  These were done with a BIC mechanical pencil in a 5″ X 7″ sketchbook.

Red Delicious Sketch 2


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!


November 14, 2010 November 15, 2010

On November 11th I posted a discussion of my Geometry paintings. Keith followed up with a question about how I developed the design so I looked through some of my sketchbooks to see what I could find to do a show-and-tell. First of all it begins when I decide which shape – circle, square or triangle – I want to work with. Then I begin to doodle and sketch ideas.

Working sketches for a Triangle based painting

I usually sit watching TV and doodle as I watch. You can see how really terrible some of the ideas for the triangle were but I don’t censor myself. I even tried combining a triangle with other shapes. I just keep working at this process until I find something that seems close to what I want. I then do a more refined drawing – still small and not ruler perfect but close to the real thing.

Working sketches for Circle and Triangle paintings

This page from my sketchbook actually shows two things. First it includes my to scale planning drawing for my circle painting. It is colored with colored pencils so I can work out the best color plan and you can see two prismatic color approaches below the completed drawing. It also shows my “getting close to being final” design for the triangle painting. I have started to think about a larger set of paintings but I still need to do an 8″ X 10″ triangle to complete my set of 8X10’s. Better get to it!


April 11, 2010 April 12, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:06 am
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We had a lovely day in Indy yesterday! All of the flowering trees are covered with profuse blossoms. I have four different types of trees within a few steps of my back door that were too tempting to ingmore. While watching the Masters so I decided to do some sketching. I started with a decorative plum tree and a red blossomed crabapple. Flowering Trees I cut the tip of a branch from each and did several small graphite sketches of each tree to learn how the tree grows…how many blooms, how many leaves, opposite or alternate… then I did the drawings in colored pencil in my small sketch book.

Crabapple Sketch

Now I have to decide what to do next…ATC’s or slightly larger paintings. Sounds like I have my plan for today!


March 25, 2010 March 25, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 5:53 am
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First of all, I would like to thank Ryan (Small Town Dad) for proposing the Spring Challenge  Paint-out. It was incredible fun to go through all of the paintings. I continue to be impressed with the creativity, talent and generosity of the artists who blog. You rock!!! If you haven’t checked this out please take a look.

Yesterday I continued to work on ideas for my Cowgirl painting. I tightened up the focus so it was clear that the cowgirl was the focal point of the painting. I studied cowgirl stuff and spent time refining her clothing. I dropped the neckerchief and drew her with many styles of hat. I also tried to bring in a hint of Native American ancestery. I really need to improve the hand /dog portion of the drawing and late yesterday shot a couple of photos of my trusty dog Baxter to help with this. Anyway, I am still playing on newsprint but am definitely closer to what I want. Stayed tuned!

Cowgirl Sketch 03242010


March 21, 2010 March 22, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:16 am
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This has been a week full of doctor’s appointments, errands, family confusions and yada, yada, yada. What else is new! Anyway I didn’t accomplish as much as I hoped but as I watched the NCAA tourney I was able to start working on sketches for a new watercolor. I grew up on a farm and I have always admired the hard work and ethical behavior of the farmers I grew up with. My brother-in-law still farms and two of my son-in-laws have been farmers.

Elizabeth Posing

I see the same characteristics along with a level of stoicism and aloneness in cowboys. I decided a few weeks ago that I wanted to paint a cowgirl waiting to begin her day. I had my granddaughter Elizabeth pose for digital photos that I thought I would use to get me started. Elizabeth has that long lean look I think of for a cowgirl (totally unlike her Grandmother). I had her hold a cup because I thought my cowgirl might be looking into the distance as she sipped her last cup of coffee early in the morning. Using newsprint and my Ebony pencil I began to work on sketches using slightly different poses and incorporating animals you might see on a farm or ranch.

Cowgirl Sketch #1

I did many, many sketches starting simple, making minor changes to them all as I worked on the design.

Cowgirl Sketch #2

After about an hour and a half of sketching I started to add value to the sketches. (HMMM… value or values…freudian slip?) So here is where I am at. After all that sketching I think I have decided that I have lost the focus on the cowgirl and will probably tighten up the composition, taking out many of the elements and cropping so only her upper body is shown. I think after I get the composition I am going to do a detailed drawing and then start some watercolor studies. With this painting I really want to use a fully developed process that might yield a better painting. This will be a first for me and I am trying to be patient and to focus on the purpose of each step of the process.

Here is the final sketch that I am still evaluating.

Cowgirl Sketch #3


January 31, 2010 January 31, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:27 pm
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Dancer #1

Spent a couple of hours today sketching for my Dance painting. I worked on heads and on the pose for the main dancer. I will probably give all three dancers long hair because it is easier to show motion with long hair.

Twirling and Swirling

I also decided to put the main dancer in a sundress – once again so the swinging skirt will help show the swirl and twirl of her dance. I’m going to have her hold a scarf or shawl flying like a flag.

I did a second head. It is for the leaping dancer. Her nose is much too cute and pert and her ponytail will be flipping behind her.

Leaping - Dancer #2

I am beginning to feel good because I am making some progress – slowly. I will continue to plug away.

I am doing the sketches with markers because it is challenging to capture emotion and movement with this tool. If I can make you feel their joy I will have succeeded.

Besides the blue is COLTS BLUE! Go Colts!