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Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

Daisy Delight

Watercolor Painting by Dennis Pendleton. This is another painting from my Botanic Gardens Workshop. I always demo in the morning and I liked the way the white daisies were surrounded with blue, yellow, and gold flowers along with different shades of green leaves. I chose one daisy and placed it in the upper right according to the rule of thirds with the intention of making it the star of my composition. I kept the pencil drawing simple with the idea that I would make decisions with the paint brush as the painting developed. This generally results in a looser and more spontaneous painting where the water and paint do some of the work. Charles Reid said it best, "you will never know what watercolor can do if you interfere with it."


As I moved away from the main daisy, I made sure to use dark values of perylene green and mineral violet along the edges so that I would have the strong contrast of darks next to the white flower. While adding other daisies, I made sure they were slightly smaller with other colors spilling into them. You can see the daisy just to the left of the bigger one has cobalt violet, cerulean blue, and green on it's petals. Also, when I was spattering color in the upper left corner, some of the cerulean blue paint ended up on this flower. Rather than trying to wipe it off, I watched the colors dry and decided I liked the effect. Going back and trying to correct something in watercolor is often a mistake that leads to more problems. If you can learn to trust the medium your paintings will appear more spontaneous.


When painting some of the flowers with more detail, I can represent other flowers with simple marks of color. This gives the viewers something to do as they wander through the painting deciding what is what. I was working on a 9 x 12 watercolor block and decided not to paint out to the borders but rather to create my own borders with my pencil. I made this decision after I started the painting and you can see the pencil lines. This is another example of following my intuition rather than thinking I had to fill in the entire paper. I like this technique because you can see another example of the artist making decisions rather than being confined to the size of the watercolor block. I also think that the remaining border adds an unexpected use of unpainted white paper.


I have two more Botanic Gardens Workshops scheduled, one in July and one in August and you can find more information by Clicking Here. Grab your supplies and meet me in Denver Botanic Gardens for some fun and informative days of painting. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton



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