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Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

City Movement

Mixed Media Painting by Dennis Pendleton. I enjoy painting cityscapes especially after it snows. This painting is of downtown Denver with the holiday lights and fresh snow. It is actually a mixed media painting where I started in the print room with oil based printers ink, then worked on it with watercolor, and finally pastel. Working with the three mediums takes some special adjusting and the process always leads to some special surprises which I enjoy. Depending on how the paint is, thick or thin in different areas, when it comes out of the press it often looks quite different. As with many creative endeavors, the process is the fun part and the finished work is simply a byproduct.


I employ several different techniques in the process. I spattered mineral spirits into the wet printers inks which left white spots which later became snow. I used a brayer to apply large areas of paint and I added watercolor to unpainted white paper after the printing process. Finally I added pastel for more depth and detail. To show snow on the tree branches I used pastel and added tracks in the snow with watercolor. I am certainly not a master printer so you can see visible brushstrokes and overlapping stripes where I used a brayer. I actually like these details because for me they add rhythm and movement which remind me of the city. In the white building in the background you can see where the press smeared the paint and created details and texture.


Because I worked in the print room and not on location I used whatever colors I wanted and here you can see I used cooler colors in the background and warmer colors in the middle ground surrounding the bus. I use the same techniques in mixed media that I use in pure watercolor painting. In this work you can see a combination of hard and soft edges in the middle ground to command more attention and primarily soft edges in the foreground where the tracks in the snow direct your eye to the middle ground. The print room is like another studio for me where I can loose myself for hours as I explore new ideas and surprise myself with the creative process. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton



Watercolor Artist's Blog by Dennis Pendleton

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