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Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

Garden Shapes and Colors

Watercolor Painting by Dennis Pendleton. Another watercolor from a fun day of painting in Denver Botanic Gardens. I set up my easel, did a few marks with my pencil and quickly began painting. I had no particular composition or color scheme in mind and simply wanted to enjoy putting colors next to each other while letting the water and paint do some of the work. From my first experience with watercolor, I have enjoyed what happens when wet colors are allowed to explode into each other and how this can inspire passages that can be developed in a spontaneous way. In this case, the identity of some of the flowers is lost as they develop into abstract colors and shapes. I hope that I included just enough detail so that some flowers are recognizable and then other shapes and colors will also appear as flowers. This is such a fun way to paint where I can ignore rules and just enjoy the process.

I did choose the yellow flower in the lower left to be a dominate character and you can see where I made a notation on it with my pencil so that I would not forget. With this impromptu style of painting, I am not restricted to brushes and, in the upper right hand corner, you can see where I pressed my fingerprint into wet paint to create a few buds. Because I used a larger brush loaded with water and paint, it flipped out little droplets of color and I added to this with some deliberate spattering. Finally, medium values of different greens mixed with yellows and blues were cut back into with darker greens mixed with olive, perylene green, and ultramarine blue for the stems and leaves and the dark colors mineral violet and indigo were added to show off the flowers.

It is hard to explain but I had to spend countless hours painting and studying before I could release the right side of my brain into this style of painting and, without a strong understanding of the fundamentals, I could never get the results I am looking for. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton

My Denver Botanic Gardens Watercolor Weekend Workshops begin June 2, 3 & 4, 2023 and also July 14, 15 & 16, 2023 and August 18, 19, & 20, 2023. You can sign up for 1, 2, or all three days and the prices are $95 for one day, $170 for two days and $225 for all three days. If you would like to sign up or, if you have any questions, send me an email to


Watercolor Artist's Blog by Dennis Pendleton

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