Watercolor Painting by Dennis Pendleton. Later this year I will be teaching a workshop "Painting the English Countryside In Watercolor" and this is a painting I did in preparation for the class. I have always admired so many of the English artists and how many of them do such wonderful paintings in watercolor. Even members of the royal family paint in watercolor. Two of my favorite English painters are John Yardley and Trevor Chamberlain and I have learned a lot from studying their work.
For this painting, I started with cerulean blue in the sky and left unpainted white paper for the clouds. It was important to work with a combination of hard and soft edges to capture the volume and movement in the clouds. Trying to move quickly so I didn't overwork the sky, I painted the church with gray mixed from cerulean blue and Indian red. Using a brush with a really fine point, I was able to work around shapes of unpainted white paper that became the houses. For the roofs I used different grays and a light value of Indian red. I wanted the houses in the front to appear warmer so I added a mixture of cobalt violet and yellow ochre. The larger trees on the edge of the village are mixtures of olive green, lemon yellow, and perylene green.
For the distant open land, I mixed olive and cerulean for a cool green and was careful to leave visible horizontal brush strokes so the land would look flat. The closer hillside is a warmer green mixed with olive and transparent yellow. To create texture in these areas, I let the colors mix on the paper causing drips, blossoms, and subtle edges that formed as the paint dried. I did not want to use white paint for the sheep so I left shapes of unpainted white paper and then added bits of light warm gray. The heads and legs are a mixture of burnt sienna and ultramarine blue. This is a small painting, 6x8 inches which is one of the sizes I use for plein air painting. Even though this was done in my studio, it is good practice for when I paint outside on location where I have a limited time because of the changing light. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton