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Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

Happy Valentine's Day

Watercolor Painting by Dennis Pendleton. I thought it would be appropriate to to send a painting of a rose to everyone on Valentines day as a way to say thank you for staying in touch by opening my Sunday emails. This painting is part of a series that I am working on of full sheet watercolors, 22 x 30 where I create my own borders and then those borders to become part of the painting.

I took some pictures of this rose right after it rained in the hope that I could figure out how to paint raindrops. It turned out to be easier than I imagined. I drew little circles and ovals then painted them with a lighter value of the colors of the rose and the leaves leaving some white paper for highlights. For the last step I circled the raindrops with a thin line of darker color. I am sure I could have found examples of how to paint raindrops somewhere on the computer but sometimes it's fun to figure out how to paint something when you have no background information or examples to work from.

I am certainly not the first person to fill most of a composition with a single flower. For me the creative part was everything else besides the rose which all came totally from my imagination. Working in a large size like this gives me a sense of freedom and I use shapes simply because I think they are interesting and I adjust colors and values for the same reason. At this point, stepping back to see the painting from a distance is critical because something can look like it is working up close but only from a distance can you tell if the entire composition is holding together. Knowing that I can blot out something I don't like then paint over what remains is also reassuring.

For the rose I used all the reds on my palette which are cadmium red, alizarin crimson, venetian red, and rose dore' with the edition of cobalt violet and mineral violet. The warm and cool greens are mixtures of cerulean blue, ultramarine blue, olive green, lemon yellow, and yellow ochre. The pure colors of cerulean blue, different violets and burnt sienna also appear in the background. The darkest colors were created with ultramarine blue, perylene green, burnt umber, and mineral violet.

Moving out of your comfort zone, in this case working on a series of larger paintings, can be challenging and it is a great way to move your painting skills forward. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton


Watercolor Artist's Blog by Dennis Pendleton

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