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Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

Learning from a Master

Watercolor Painting by Dennis Pendleton. I am a big fan of Edward Seago's paintings and, after studying his watercolors and reading about his process, I did this painting to see what I could learn. He loved painting the English countryside near where he lived in all the different seasons and weather conditions. Lowering the horizon line so that the sky was more than half of the composition is something he often did and it gave his paintings a sense of depth and atmosphere. I did this in my painting and you can see how it puts an emphasis on the moving clouds as they drop behind the trees.


Another thing I love about Seago's watercolors is his visible brushwork. You can see how his colors flowed together on the paper with a handsome combination of hard and soft edges. Allowing the water and paint to do some of the work without interfering with the process is a valuable lesson. Seago's paintings never appear overworked and they contain just the right amount of detail. It appears to me that he thought about each stroke of paint before he applied it to the paper. If you get the colors, values, edges, and shapes right, it is amazing how little detail you really need and, if those four things don't work, all the detail in the world won't save your painting.


Another characteristic of his paintings is a wonderful sense of balance. In my painting, I balanced the tall tree on the right with the dark sky on the left. Some of his paintings contained a living thriving tree along with one that is broken and dead. I really can't say if there was any hidden psychological meaning implied by this combination. As I reflect on all this, the main thing I get from studying Edward Seago's paintings is his love of the process of plein air painting and that is something we have in common. Choose an artist that you love and do a painting in their particular style and see how much you can learn. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton



Watercolor Artist's Blog by Dennis Pendleton

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