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Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

Sunbathing In February

The secret to sunbathing in February is taking a trip to the French Riviera. Doesn't that sound like a marvelous idea? I painted this while sitting on the beach in Nice on a beautiful warm sunny day. It was a painting trip that started in Nice, then I went down the Italian coast to Cinqueterre, then over to Venice. This small plein air painting is 6 x 8 inches. I like working in a small format when painting on location as this allows me to work quickly to capture the ever changing light. The setting was perfect with the azure blue water, white sand, and line of buildings along the peninsula. The umbrella's added nice bright colors and it was fun representing the sun bathers with little bits of paint that captured their gestures. About 80 % of this painting was done with two washes. The sky wash started with cerulean blue and, when it came down to the water, I used less water to get a darker cerulean and also added manganese blue. The light wash for the sand and the hillside was a mixture of yellow ochre, cobalt blue and lots of water. With these two areas established, I proceeded to add the sunbathers, umbrella's, palm trees, and distant buildings. Even with the tiny details I was able to use a # 8 round brush because it had a nice point and I only loaded the point with wet paint. A few simple shapes for cast shadows to show the direction of the sunlight and the painting was finished. My first plein air workshop for this year is in Taos, New Mexico on May 18 - 22. I then have one in Edwards, Colorado in July and the following week is my Steamboat Springs Workshop in July. I will also offer weekend workshops in Denver Botanic Gardens this summer. For more information go to my website or send me an email to pendletonstudio@ Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton

Watercolor Artist's Blog by Dennis Pendleton

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