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Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

Captivated By Roses

Watercolor Painting by Dennis Pendleton. The other day a friend of mine invited me to his house to see his roses that were in full bloom. They were magnificent, growing all over a handsome iron fence that has an interesting history of it's own. I had never seen rose bushes that big and I learned a few things about how difficult they are to care for. We were there in the evening and the roses were a gorgeous creamy yellow and I was told that they actually change colors at different times of the day. As we relaxed on the patio, I kept thinking how much I wanted to paint the roses and kicking myself for forgetting my phone camera.


The next day I drove back to their house, all the time thinking about a predicted hailstorm, took some pictures and raced home to the safety of my garage. I was there in the late morning and, just as I had been told, the roses were different colors. Last night I painted this in my Hahnemuhle sketch book and I know it is just the prelude to more paintings, some of which I hope will be in plein air. Starting with the centrally located rose, I worked my way out from there in different directions. This method works for me when I am painting a vignette where I fade some of the colors into the background without regard for the four borders. I enjoy painting vignettes because they include more visible brushstrokes and I am forced to think more about how to effectively use the unpainted white paper.


The leaves, in their different shades of green, play an important part as they surround the flowers with darker values and beautifully display the lighter roses. I painted them with different mixtures of olive green, perylene green, French ultramarine blue, lemon yellow, and cerulean blue, making sure to create lots of temperature changes. The iron fence adds a strong geometric structure to the composition and I painted it with grays mixed with cerulean blue plus brilliant orange and French ultramarine blue mixed with burnt sienna. The roses were painted with rose dore plus cobalt violet to make pink plus lemon yellow, cobalt violet, yellow ochre, burnt sienna and unpainted white paper. Trying to capture every single petal on the roses would never work for my style of direct painting so I left out a few and tried to capture the general beauty without trying to paint every single detail.


I would like to thank my friends for a delightful evening of of conversation, education, and visual stimulation. They not only have spectacular roses but also gardens full of other beauties which I am dreaming of painting. My Botanical Gardens Weekend Workshops are filling up and, if you are interested, you can find out more information by Clicking Here. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton



Watercolor Artist's Blog by Dennis Pendleton

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