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Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

Count Only Happy Days

Watercolor Painting by Dennis Pendleton. Venice is one of my favorite places on the planet and it seems to be a city created for watercolor painting. If you take a boat from the train station to Saint Marks Square, you pass this facade on the left side of the Grand Canal. One of the things I love about Venice is the different influences in the architecture. Here you can see the Moorish influence in the windows and arched entrance. Buildings like this in Venice are restored every few years, a process that I have witnessed, and when the restoration is finished they look several hundred years old. The charm of this magnificent city will live on thanks to the work of Italian craftsmen.


The striped mooring poles, marble slabs, carving, and iron gate were all fun to paint and the process brought back such wonderful memories. The drawing was complicated and took almost as long as the painting and I reminded myself that there are no perfectly straight lines in Venice. Sunlight is an important component of this painting with the shadows and the cast shadows on the facade. The cast shadow from a balcony, not in the painting, seals off the top of the composition and returns the viewer's eye back down to the doorway surrounded by the striped mooring poles.


The marble slabs are a mixture of cobalt violet, cerulean blue, and yellow ochre along with areas of unpainted white paper. Cadmium red and Indian red were used for the mooring poles and their shadow side is a gray mixed with cerulean blue and brilliant orange and, again, the white is unpainted white paper. The red paint on the facade is Indian red and mineral violet and the black lanterns are a strong mixture of burnt sienna and French ultramarine blue. The entrance with the iron gate is burnt sienna, yellow ochre, and French ultramarine blue. Finally, the water was painted with cerulean blue and perylene green. One of my favorite things in Venice is a sundial with the inscription "Count Only Happy Days." If you have been to Venice, you know that it is full of magical places and, if you haven't been there, I hope you someday visit my favorite city. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton


To see my upcoming classes at The Art Students League of Denver,

IN-PERSON "Using An Accent Color in Watercolor Painting" CLICK HERE

ONLINE "Flowers with Window in Watercolor" CLICK HERE

IN-PERSON "Introduction to Painting in Watercolor" CLICK HERE



Watercolor Artist's Blog by Dennis Pendleton

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