Beyond The Fence In Steamboat, CO

I was driving in the Elk River Valley in Steamboat Springs, Colorado when I spotted this ranch with the ski mountains in the distance. I was struck by all the movement created by the ski runs, rolling hills, ranch buildings, scattered hay bails, and rambling fence. It was getting late in the evening so I did a preliminary drawing and returned the next day to complete the painting. I organized the composition into background with the distant mountains, middle ground with the ranch and trees, and foreground with the hay bails, meadow and fence. Steamboat Springs is not only a world class ski area but also a river valley with traditional working ranches and it was exciting to represent both

Flower Medleys

Flower medleys bring color, texture and excitement to your plein air painting. When arranging your composition, strive for rhythm and not a hodgepodge of shapes and sizes. Grouping specific types of flowers helps to make your composition more cohesive. Always keep in mind that it is your option and indeed your responsibility as an artist to do anything that will improve your painting. In this case, I moved a few flowers and included some that were a few feet away and yet, if you were standing where I was when I painted this, you would hardly notice that I had changed anything. One of the things I usually do when I am painting in a flower garden is to add a few more of the same flowers th

Navigating The Painting

As an artist, it is your opportunity to plan and direct the course of your painting rather than simply copying a scene or photograph. This scene of a Venice canal is one that I have painted before in a small size so here I painted it 17 x 24 inches. Working from a photo can led to problems because shadows appear darker and devoid of color, every little detail is included, and it is tempting to copy the photo rather than making changes that will improve your painting. I made over 100 changes, some big and some really small, from the original photo and I will discuss some of the more important ones here. The second facade was exactly the same color and value as the first facade so I covered

Taos Workshop

My annual Watercolor Workshop in Taos New Mexico which usually happens in late May has been postponed to August 23rd - 28th and there are still a couple openings. The headquarters will still be the historic Mabel Dodge Luhan House which is itself a wonderful painting site. I am excited because of this later date the hollyhocks and sunflowers will be in full bloom and some of our favorite painting sites will have a different look. If you are interested in the workshop or have any questions, send me an email to When I am painting on location, I like to zoom in on intimate scenes like this that I can capture in a smaller size. The sunlight is always changing and w

Recent Posts

Watercolor Artist's Blog by Dennis Pendleton

Find out about upcoming workshops, urban sketching events & get a FREE watercolor lesson every Sunday in your email:

Gifting a Watercolor Workshop or Private Lessons is sure to please any artist in your life!

  • Dennis Pendleton on Pinterest
  • Artist Dennis Pendleton on Instagram
  • Artist Dennis Pendleton on YouTube

Follow me on YouTube and Instagram or Pinterest to find out about my workshop give-a-ways, see paintings and get great watercolor tips to boost your watercolor painting skills!

Signup for my email newsletter
in my blog for email updates.

© 2019 Dennis Pendleton  |  Denver Web Design by PickleWix