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Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

Plein Air Painting at Botanic Gardens

I just spent the last three days teaching a watercolor class in Denver Botanic Gardens and I am throughly delighted with the results. Watching everyone improve from one day to the next was really rewarding and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who participated in the workshop. At the end of of each day we had a critique and discussed each painting with 4 different things in mind. 1. Color: Are the colors presented clearly without getting muddy. Is there an interesting combination of warm and cool colors? Did the artist use a color scheme such as complimentary colors? 2. Values: Is there a value range from light to dark and are values used to emphasize certain parts of the painting? 3. Shapes: Are there interesting shapes of different sizes and do some parts of the painting link together to make interesting shapes?

4. Edges: The combination of hard and soft edges can add so much to a painting and this is one of the techniques that improved each day in the gardens this weekend. Hard edges were used to emphasize certain areas of the paintings and soft edges were used to play down other areas. I don't have my paintings from this weekend transferred to this sight yet so I choose this painting from an earlier workshop. The complimentary colors blue and orange as well as green and red harmonize well and I used the dark green values to set off the lighter colors in the flowers. There is an interesting array of shapes from large to small and hard and soft edges were used to guide the viewers eye through the painting. The gardens abound with an endless supply of interesting subject matter and I have another Botanic Gardens Watercolor Workshop scheduled for August 2, 3 & 4 and if you are interested send me an email to Come join us in the gardens and spend a few days immersed in painting. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton

Watercolor Artist's Blog by Dennis Pendleton

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