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Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

A New Approach to the Garden

Watercolor Painting by Dennis Pendleton. This is the second painting in my series of 22 x 30 paintings of Denver Botanic Gardens. Creating my own borders and then making the borders part of the paintings has been a fun part of the project.

I have been studying "equalization" while working on this series because it was used by some of my favorite artists like Gustav Klimt and Pierre Bonnard. Vincent Van Gogh also used a form of equalization in some of his landscapes and certainly Jackson Pollock used it in his drip paintings. One of the main principles is the absence of a focal point. In this painting I used colors and values to create texture and pattern resulting in different "effects" or points of interest throughout the composition. I wanted to move the viewers eye in and around the painting rather than directing the eye to a single focal point. At the same time I was thinking about how the different colors, values, shapes and edges worked together resulting in a harmonious painting.

This is not a strict equalization painting because I used some of the principles and combined them with my own ideas. For example, you can't tell which direction the sunlight is coming from because I used the sunlight wherever I wanted to light up different flowers. Deciding how dark to go with some of the background colors was a concern but I love the way the rich darks show off the flowers, leaves and stems. The white flowers took some planning because they are unpainted white paper and I didn't using a masking fluid to save them. I prefer to paint around them and what paint that drips onto the white paper is usually left. I have never liked the hard edges that result from using masking fluid.

The rich darks are a combination of olive green and perylene green and the white flowers contain light values of cerulean blue and cobalt violet. Transparent yellow, lemon yellow and cobalt violet were used for the yellow flowers and the tall blue flowers are cerulean blue, ultramarine blue, and mineral violet. The other flowers are cobalt violet, mineral violet and cerulean blue. Studying masters like Gustav Klimt and Vincent Van Gogh keeps keeps the creative side of my brain stimulated and I am never at an absence of ideas for new paintings. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton


Watercolor Artist's Blog by Dennis Pendleton

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