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Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

Beauty in Bloom

Watercolor Painting by Dennis Pendleton. I wanted to send out flowers for Mother's Day and this is a painting I did in one of my weekend workshops at Denver Botanical Gardens. It is going out late because I was captured by aliens and just now got back to earth. I love painting in the gardens because every time there are different arrangements and always new plants blooming. It is the most peaceful place, a real oasis in the city.


In this painting, I started with the two white daisies and arranged the composition around them. They are mostly unpainted white paper with a few light strokes of cobalt violet to give them form. Once they were painted, I worked out from there with very little drawing because I wanted to paint abstract color shapes that would represent other flowers. I thought this abstract tapestry would show off the two daisies without competing with them. Without the daisies, it would truly be an abstract painting. Allowing other bits of white paper here and there created a nice sparkle of sunlight and you can also see where I scratched out a few stems with my fingernail. The timing on that technique has to be just right because if the paint is to wet it will flow back into the scratched out area leaving a dark line instead of white paper. If you let the paint dry, the technique won't work at all.


At the top of the composition, you can see where I put down a few strokes of cerulean blue, leaving some white paper, did some spattering, then dripped on a few other colors. Because these colors are repeated in other locations, they create a backdrop that works for the tall blue flowers. At the bottom of the painting, I stroked middle and light values of green then, when that was dry, I cut out leaves and other plant shapes with darker greens. I refer to this technique as "cutting back" and I use it quite often when painting in the garden. The blue flowers are a combination of cerulean blue, French ultramarine blue, and mineral violet. Some of the other flowers are lemon yellow with cobalt violet and the greens are olive and perylene.


I have three weekend workshops scheduled for Denver Botanic Gardens this summer and you can find out the information by Clicking Here. If you are interested in joining us, send me an email to Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton



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