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Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

Garden Inspirations

Watercolor Painting by Dennis Pendleton. This is the first painting that sold at my show last night and I would like to thank everyone who attended. Visiting with old friends and new friends was a joy and many of my paintings left for new homes. It was so much fun that we are talking about making it an annual event.

The poppies were in full bloom in Denver Botanic Gardens when I painted this and I remember how excited I was to get started. This is an important time and taking a couple minutes to think about what I am doing can make or break the final results. I quickly chose one flower to be the most important and decided where to place it in the composition. The center of the flower is exactly on one of the points of the rule of thirds that Leonard Da Vinci wrote about and used in his paintings. The flower I am talking about is the one in the upper right corner and you can see how the other poppies are slightly smaller, one is cropped by the left border, another is behind a blue flower while being cropped by the right border, and one more is displayed from behind while being partly covered by the main flower. Decisions like this are the responsibility of the artist and they can turn a painting into a work of art.

My painting looks just like the the poppies in Denver Botanic Gardens and only I know some of the small changes I made. If you paint long enough, this sort of thing will become automatic and part of your style. This partly explains why you can put any number of artists with the same supplies in front of the same subject and each finished painting will be different.

For the poppies you can see some unpainted white paper along with different shades of cobalt violet. The blue flowers are cerulean blue and French Ultramarine Blue and the leaves and stems are olive green with an occasional bit of lemon yellow. The deep colors that show off the flowers are olive green plus perylene green. Denver Botanic Gardens is still beautiful and I plan on returning to paint before the first freeze. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton


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