Encountering A Deer
Watercolor Painting by Dennis Pendleton. In February 2024, I will be teaching an ONLINE CLASS titled "Landscape with Animal(s) in Watercolor" at the Art Students League of Denver Click Here For Class Info. I am excited to teach the class because I know how animals can add life to landscapes. In this painting, which is only 6 x 9 inches, I added the deer because I wanted the aspen forest to have a focal point. It was also important to present the deer with a look of surprise or anticipation to create the mood I was after. If she had been simply grazing it would have been more of a serine mood. Trying to capture that instance in time when the deer spotted an intruder is what I was after. Also, in my mind, the deckle edge of the watercolor paper adds to that feeling. As an artist it is challenging and fun to set the stage and capture a moment in time much like a director of movies or live theater. One of my favorite artists that did this to perfection is Edward Hopper.
This was painted on hand made paper that has a more irregular texture. I took advantage of this paper quality when I was applying the watercolor paint. It naturally created interesting edges and allowed the paint and water to do some of the work for me. If you interfere with the watercolor on this paper it can get messy in a hurry so it teaches restraint which is a great lesson for the medium.
My palette was mostly warm colors, cadmium yellow, olive green, raw sienna, and new gamboge. The tree trunks are different grays mixed with cerulean blue and red, along with unpainted white paper. The deer is a mixture of cobalt blue and yellow ochre with unpainted white paper for the face. On December ninth and tenth, I am participating in WHAM, Winter Holiday Art Market at the Art Students League of Denver Click Here to see some of my paintings for the show. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton