Linda Halcomb's Blog

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February 11, 2019 February 11, 2019

Filed under: Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 9:27 am
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Well we had two inches of snow yesterday but the temperature is rising and rain is due today. What erratic winter weather we are having. Keeps me inside drinking hot tea, reading and planning my next art project.

When I was in Europe this summer I bought a set of watercolor pencils in Edinburgh but I only did one small painting. I was in Paris at the end of my trip and was wandering around my neighborhood (close to the Sorbonne) taking photos. I stumbled on a small church named Eglise – St Medard. I went back to the apartment and painted this small painting in the sketchbook I bought at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. I didn’t have a brush so I had to paint with a Q-tip and my finger. The day was bright and sunny but the door was in a partially shaded nook where the sun was dancing through the leaves. It gave me a feeling of comfortable old age and nostalgia. I “cleaned the painting up” by using an ink pen to outline. All in all I enjoyed the challenge even if my door is a little crooked!

Eglise St-Medard Paris Sep 2018



March 12, 2013 March 12, 2013

Filed under: Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 9:59 am
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Good news! Yesterday evening I finished shredding the last materials from the two big boxes Ken had in storage. I still have to work on the files in the office but that can wait for a week or two. Having this finished just might impprove my mood.

This morning I finished a second project that has been nagging at me. At the end of September, 2011 I made color swatches of all of my watercolor materials – tubes, pans, pencils, crayons, even my Yarka kid’s set. This morning I finally did my comparisons and was generally very pleased with the results.

Color stability testing

Color stability testing

I had two blues from a set of Pebeo pan watercolors that looked borderline but my big surprise was that all three of my sets of watercolor pencils had colors that failed. Cretacolor had a red and a green that had slight fading. Reeves had two blues, one with substantial fading.

A blue that faded

A blue that faded

Inktense also had several colors with slight fading (Inktense colors were generally brighter and more saturated.)

Color Test 5

I plan to mark all of the colors that are suspect with tape so I don’t use them. I also plan to put all of them into a second color test. As I mentioned some of the fading was very slight and I don’t want to eliminate colors when something else might have contributed. Anyway, This was a very good activity and has relieved some concerns that I had.


June 18, 2012 June 22, 2012

As I mentioned I attended a Warren Taylor Workshop a week or so ago and the subject was working with water soluble crayons and pencils. To take the white off the paper, he brought several “quick starts” that we could buy to get a quick start…hmmm, quess I’m redundant! These were on half sheet Arches 140# paper. Warren used one of his own photographs to make the drawing and the only limitation he placed on their use was a prohibition on their use in competitions. I selected a large tulip that was beyond its prime (sort of like the artist). This was my first effort and has muliple layers of permanent colored pencil (used too much!), watercolor pencils and watercolor crayon. I struggled with this and finsihed it off/quieted it down/smoothed it out with regular watercolor. I added the lower leaves to the design at the last minute and I don’t think they added anything. Obviously not competition material but it was a valuable experience and I continue to learn. Onward and upward!!!!

Warren Taylor Workshop Ex 1



October 1, 2011 October 4, 2011

WHEEEEE! After several days of work I have generated a color test swatch for all of my watercolor paint materials. Reeves, Cretacolor and Derwent Inktense watercolor pencils, American Journey watercolor crayons, Pebeo, Pelikan Gouache, Cotman Travel, Yarka Kid and Professional pan sets. 201 samples in all…what a job! I agree with Carol, who mentioned that the samples posted earlier look like a work of art. That struck me right off the bat. Now that this is finished it seems even more so. The different size color blocks were not done intentionally to create something interesting but were driven by the “used” paper I had available and by the number of colors in a set. This board is now sitting in a west window…only a year to go!

Watercolor Stability Test Board

One learning happened during the preparation for the test. I used similar materials together – for example, I generated the color blocks using my watercolor pencils on the same day and back to back. It is amazing how much I learned by using the materials like this.  Three things particularly stood out. My Pebeo pan set (I believe made in France) was silky smooth and saturated…use that one more often! My Reeves and Derwent Inktense pencils dissolved more easily than my Cretacolor with Reeves (a cheaper set) having saturation and easy of use ALMOST equivalent to Inktense. Finally, I had to go over the swatches done with the crayons twice for many colors. The first patch often looked too light for testing…for the first pass I “colored” and then wet the sample. For the second layer, I used a wet brush to remove color from the crayon and then painted it on. For me, who struggles still with materials, this was all very valuable.