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Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

Bring the Garden Indoors

Watercolor Painting by Dennis Pendleton. Flowers still remain one of my favorite subjects for painting in watercolor. My favorite is painting them on location in places like Denver Botanic Gardens but I also really enjoy setting up bouquet's alone or in still lifes. Typically I choose one flower that that will be slightly more important than the others and start there. I decide where to place it in the composition as I did here with the yellow flower in the upper right.

Cadmium yellow, lemon yellow and transparent yellow were all used and I also used cobalt violet to darken parts of the petals. Next I surrounded it with rich colors, the darkest of which is perylene green. As I moved around the bouquet, I developed some flowers and suggested others with simple brush strokes. If all the flowers are painted with equal importance the painting will be boring. It is important to have areas of the painting that give the viewer the opportunity to use their imagination.

As a direct painter, I try to complete things with as few brush strokes as possible and you can see different leaves, petals and stems that are painted with a single stroke. Having flowers touch the borders is a way to make the negative shapes, in this case the white background, more interesting. I try to make the negative shapes as interesting as the flowers. This doesn't always happen but it is a good thing to keep in mind, When painting the vase, I used the wet-in-wet technique so that colors would run together and give the impression that they are in water. A simple sliver of white paper was used to show the water line and the rim of the vase. If you are not sure of what to paint or you don't like the weather outside, setting up a bouquet of flowers will give you a chance to work on some of the things you have been learning about watercolor painting. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton

I have one more Watercolor Workshop in Denver Botanic Gardens on August 27, 28, and 29 and you can sign up for one, two or all three days. The prices are $95 for one day, $170 for two days and $225 for all three. If you have any questions or would like to sign up, send an email to pendletonstudio@

I am teaching a four week ONLINE class Tuesdays from 1 - 3:30 p.m. starting September 7th at the Art Students League of Denver titled "Glorious Gardens in Watercolor." You will learn how to introduce a path, fence. building and figures as you paint different gardens. I haven't taught painting gardens in this way before and I am very excited about the class. To register go to the Art Students League of Denver's website.


Watercolor Artist's Blog by Dennis Pendleton

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