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Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

A Leisurely Afternoon

Watercolor Painting by Dennis Pendleton. I was putting together a class that I am teaching about painting the Italian Coastline when I came across this painting I had done when I was in the little fishing village of Vernazza in Cinque Terre. I sat in a restaurant at the harbor after lunch and painted this view from my table. The waiters were quite polite letting me stay on after lunch and they kept checking to see how my painting was coming along. I stayed in Cinque Terre for two weeks and each morning I went for a long hike between the five fishing villages, had lunch and then spent the afternoon swimming in the ocean and painting scenes like this.

Some time ago I realized that constantly taking pictures when I am traveling can be a real nuisance and it always identifies you as a tourist. Now I only take pictures that could be reference material for paintings and I found that I enjoy traveling more when I spend days without taking any pictures.

This painting captures so much of what I remember about Cinque Terre with the weathered facade, green shutters, colorful umbrellas, and waiters in their black and white outfits. It is fun to reminisce about the Italian Coastline in February in Denver. The facade is a mixture of cobalt blue and yellow ochre with darker versions of the same mixture for cast shadows. The traditional shutters are olive green mixed with cerulean blue and the light in the window and doorway is lemon yellow. I left unpainted white paper for the tables, chairs and white shirts on the waiters. This takes some planning when you are doing the drawing but in watercolor it works better than using white paint. The umbrellas have volume because of the light and shadow and they were painted with olive green, cerulean blue, cadmium yellow and raw sienna. I don't have black on my palette and I mixed ultramarine blue with burnt umber for the waiters pants. Italy is a never ending delight for artists and I recommend traveling there to anyone who enjoys recording their memories in paint. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton

The name of the class that I mentioned is "Painting The Italian Coastline In Watercolor" and it is an Online Zoom class that will be offered by the Art Students League of Denver this Summer. For more information send me an email to


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