Happy New Year!
Watercolor Painting by Dennis Pendleton. I was going through my files and found this picture of a painting I did in Denver Botanic Gardens. After finishing my painting, I set it in the subject flowers and took this photo. It made me realize that I should be doing this with all the paintings I do at the gardens. Anyway, it was fun to see the painting again and remember the weekend workshop when it was painted. It was done on a block of Fabriano 140 lb. cold press watercolor paper size 8" x 10". Looking at the painting now surrounded by all the beautiful flowers it makes me smile and fills me with hope for a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.
I painted the yellow flowers in the upper quadrant of the golden mean which is one of the good locations for something important in a composition. Being surrounded by the rich red flowers and the deep greens also adds to their importance. As your eyes move down into the center of the painting, the violet flowers are also important but, if you squint, it is obvious that they lack the intensity of the yellow flowers. This is very subtle but it does allow the yellow flowers to remain dominate. I want all areas of my paintings to be interesting but not equal in importance. There are other ways to lead the viewers eye around a painting such as putting the darkest dark next to the lightest light, the use of hard and soft edges, and using a complimentary color scheme like I did here with the complimentary colors yellow and violet.
For the yellow flowers, I used cadmium yellow and lemon yellow and, for the violet flowers, I used cobalt violet and cerulean blue. Their centers are cadmium yellow with a little bit of burnt sienna. The little blue flowers were painted with french ultramarine blue and the red flowers are combinations of cadmium red and alizarin crimson. All the different greens were mixed with cerulean blue, lemon yellow, olive green and french ultramarine blue. I am really looking forward to my summer weekend workshops when I will be painting with other artists in Denver Botanic Gardens. HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton