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Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

Deep In The Forest

Watercolor Painting by Dennis Pendleton. This is a painting I just finished that will be included in a workshop "Painting Aspen Trees In All Four Seasons In Watercolor" that I will be offering later this year. I painted it from several photo's I took along one of the hiking trails in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. At first glance, aspen trees appear to be white but with closer inspection you can see subtle shades of yellow ochre, warm and cool grays, plus mixtures of yellow ochre and violet. Aspen trees also have a green color under the bark which is sometimes visible on the surface. Along with all this, I chose colors that I thought worked the best with the painting. You can see I used cerulean blue, cobalt violet and cool grays in the most distant trees so that they would recede into the background. The effective use of unpainted white paper is an important consideration in watercolor painting. I started by drawing the aspen trees and then painting them with the aforementioned colors while leaving lots of unpainted white paper. Next I surrounded them with olive green and a darker combination of olive mixed with perylene green. The bush with the blue flowers was painted with cerulean blue, ultramarine blue and mineral violet. As I moved down into the wild flowers, I painted carefully with a smaller brush leaving bits of unpainted paper for the white flowers. This area is so full of small details that a preliminary drawing would have been confusing so I trusted my intuition and painted flower after flower. Knowing which colors are transparent and which are opaque was important to keep this area from getting muddy. I stepped back every few minutes to make sure the composition was holding together and also looked at the original photo's to make sure I didn't get lost. For the flowers, I used lemon and cadmium yellow, cerulean blue, cobalt violet, mineral violet and orange. Equalization painting is where there is no focal point and the elements are basically equal in the pattern. In this painting, the flowers are equally important and uniform in shape. They are evenly balanced throughout in the lower section of the painting so this is my version of a modified equalization painting. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton

Watercolor Artist's Blog by Dennis Pendleton

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