Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

Eye on the Prize


Watercolor Painting by Dennis Pendleton. A friend and fellow artist sent me this picture of my painting that won first place in the Cherry Hills Village Art Show and I thought it would be a good time to talk about the painting and also about entering art shows.

I have painted this subject several times and this is the first one I did with autumn colors. I think I enjoy this subject because it reminds me of the years I lived in Steamboat Springs. Fall was my favorite time of year and Indian Summer was always very special. We all knew that ski season, which I loved, was right around the corner but I never wanted autumn to end. Because I used mostly warm colors for the cows and even warmer colors in the foreground and aspen leaves I decided to use some cool colors in the aspen trunks. If you look carefully you can see cerulean blue, cobalt violet, and yellow ochre which is a grayed down form of yellow. In the dark parts of the tree trunks, you can see French Ultramarine Blue which was mixed with burnt sienna. I deliberately do not stir my paints up when I mix colors and that is why you can see bits of the blue as well as the black that resulted from pushing the two colors together. This technique of pushing the colors together instead of stirring them up results in cleaner mixtures that sparkle rather than appearing flat and even muddy.

Regarding color temperature, in a very warm area I like to include a small bit of cool color and in a cool area I like to include a little bit of warm color because this results in a subtle vibration that makes those areas more interesting. The blue sky that you see between the trees is a combination of cerulean blue and manganese blue. The warm foreground colors are transparent yellow, cadmium yellow, burnt sienna, and violet.

Now about entering art shows. The best advice I can give is enter the show then forget about it and move on with your painting. If your painting is not accepted don't take it personally because it is just one person's opinion, that person being the judge. If my paining is rejected, I tell myself that now I have joined the fellowship of Monet, Degas, Renoir, and other artists who suffered rejection and that puts me in pretty good company. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton

Watercolor Artist's Blog by Dennis Pendleton

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