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Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

Gold Fever

I am working on a series of aspen paintings from my recent trip to Steamboat Springs and this is one of the first.  This series will continue through the four seasons and it won't be long before I am painting them in the snow.  Working in a series allows me to relate one painting to another as I explore different lighting conditions, weather, and natural changes brought on by mother nature.  An important thought process in this painting was how I handled edges to show how the aspen trees wove in and out among the golden leaves and dark evergreen background.  There are a variety of ways to create edge quality and, this Friday, October 9th, and again on Friday October 16th, I am teaching a one-day online Zoom workshop on edges.  The first workshop is full but there is still room in the second.  For more information, send me an email to    A rule of thumb is to strive for 50% hard edges and 50%  soft edges in a painting.  It never comes out at exactly 50% but it is a good thing to think about during the painting process.  In this case, my painting leans more towards soft edges.  Controlling hard and soft edges can create a mood, lead the viewer's eye, and elevate your paintings from ordinary to extraordinary.  The golden leaves are made from cadmium yellow, lemon yellow, transparent yellow and raw sienna.  Most of them are represented with large shapes of color with only a few here and there painted as individual leaves.  The soft edges were created with wet paint mixing on the paper, spattering, dripping paint, and the careful use of opaque yellow.  Choosing evergreen trees for the background provided dark shapes and edges with olive green and perylene green setting off the lighter colors of the aspen trees and leaves.  Every aspen forest is different and I loved this one because of the way everything tangled together providing an interesting rhythm.   There is still time to go up into the mountains to catch gold fever with your paints and cameras.  Happy Painting!  Dennis The size of this painting is 6 and 1/2 x 9 and 1/2 inches and matted 12 and 1/2 x 15 and 1/2 inches and the price is $400.  Contact


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