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Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

Loosen Up!

Painting on location in Botanic Gardens is a time to have fun, loosen up, and compose with rich and dramatic colors. This is a painting I did as a demonstration last year at one of my Summer Weekend Workshops in Botanic Gardens. I deliberately choose a different way of starting a painting from time to time so that my paintings don't look like formula paintings. This time I started with the large orange flower, placed it where I wanted in the composition then painted it with different shades of orange. Next I surrounded it with rich darks of blue and blue green so that it would stand out even more. As I moved beyond the main flower I painted looser and looser with dripping paint, visible brush strokes, and bits of white paper. I worked with a modified complimentary color scheme of blue and orange with a couple other colors used sparingly as accents. In this painting the accent colors are cobalt violet and red. The further I moved from the big orange flower the looser I painted and some of the smaller flowers are simply marks of color surrounded by darker colors. A few tips on loosening up your paintings: Don't go back and "correct." Work on getting the color, value, and color temperature right the first time. Use a bigger brush with a good point, I did this painting with a #8 round. Little brushes can result in fussy, overworked paintings. Before you make a paint stroke, decide if you want a hard or soft edge. If you want a soft edge do it while the paint is still damp, don't wait for the paint to dry. My first Weekend Painting in Botanic Gardens Workshop is May 3, 4 & 5 and you can sign up for 1, 2, or 3 days. I guarantee it will be fun and educational so if you are interested or want more information send me an email to You can also get information about this Workshop on my website under classes and workshops. Happy Painting! Dennis

Watercolor Artist's Blog by Dennis Pendleton

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