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Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

Feelin' Green

With Saint Patricks Day coming on Tuesday, I thought I would discuss the proper use of the color green. If you have taken a class from me, you have heard me say, "DON'T STIR UP YOUR COLORS." When mixing yellow and blue together, leave a little space between them on your palette and just gently push the colors together with an "S" stroke. This will result in a mixture that includes little bits of yellow and blue as well as different shades of green. This is much more exciting to work with than a flat green that results from stirring up the two colors. I do have the colors olive green, terra verde, and perylene green on my palette and I mix them with yellows and blues to get different greens.

This painting is a small study that I did in a sketchbook from the porch of a friend's cabin. Color temperature played an important role as I painted warm greens for the aspen leaves, more neutral greens on the ground and cool greens for the evergreens. Within each of these areas there are a variety of greens which resulted from allowing the colors to mix on the paper as I gently added different greens to the wet paint. Finally, I added the darkest greens on top of the dry painting and stopped before I lost the freshness and spontaneity that I was after.

The best advice I can give you is practice making as many greens as you can by using color temperature, different values, and pushing colors together instead of stirring them up. When you are confronted with the color green in landscape painting, you will be much better prepared to show the grandeur of mother nature. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton

Watercolor Artist's Blog by Dennis Pendleton

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