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Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

Denver Botanic Gardens Watercolor Painting

A gorgeous day painting in the gardens.

On Sunday I spent the day painting in Botanic Gardens and the weather was perfect, not to hot and partly overcast. The gardens were full of people and some of them watched us paint but they were very polite and talking with them was fun. We were surrounded by flowers in full bloom and the colors and forms were intoxicating. Zeroing in on one small area and deciding which flowers to emphasize was a challenge and my viewer was very helpful. Size differences are important and the tiny blue flowers contrasted nicely with the bigger violet and red ones. Rich darks are always important to show off the main players in a composition and I used perylene green, mineral violet, and alizarin crimson in subtle mixtures to make sure they didn’t turn muddy. There is no sky or ground in this painting so I relied on a combination of hard and soft edges and a strong value range to create depth. To hold onto the luminous color that watercolor is known for, I barely pushed the coors together in my mixtures and used a lot of pure color with no mixing. Botanic Gardens are a true oasis in the city and I really appreciate the hard work involved and the way artists are always welcome.


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