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Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

Old World Charm

Watercolor Painting by Dennis Pendleton. As traveling opens up, you can see where my mind is wandering. I have been to Venice seven different times on painting trips and am already planning another. It is an unforgettable city full of ancient charm and history that seems to have been created just for artists. They have not had motorboats in the canals since the beginning of the pandemic and I hear that canals are cleaner than they have been during my lifetime. Another reason to return as soon as I can.

This wonderful historic facade is one of the palaces lined up along the grand canal on the way to Saint Marks Basin. The weathered finish and the different windows are perfect for watercolor painting. As buildings like this are restored, the Italian craftsmen make sure to maintain that old world charm. On one trip I watched those workers from my hotel balcony as they restored a facade. When they were finished it looked about 3o0 years old.

Nearly one third of this painting is unpainted white paper with only a little suggestion of texture created by tapping my fingers and a wadded up tissue in the wet mixture of cerulean blue and cadmium red. The gondolas make handsome black shapes that bob up and down on the water. I enjoyed painting the water taxi because it broke up the line of the gondolas. The colors of the water in the canals change constantly according to the weather and sunlight so I used a mixture of cerulean blue, cobalt violet and yellow ochre. Dark colors reflect a little lighter on the water and I used the same mixture in a darker value for the gondola reflections. The main color on the facade is a mixture of cobalt violet, yellow ochre, and transparent yellow and the higher window shutters are olive green mixed with cerulean blue. I find it fascinating that the windows on each level are different and they get fancier and taller the higher up they are. The first level windows are smaller and have bars for security.

As charming as the shops and restaurants are, it is the Italian people that I miss the most and I look forward to looking up some old acquaintances when I return. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton

I have a new online watercolor class coming up at the Art Students League of Denver that I am excited about and I hope you will consider joining.

ONLINE Painting the Window in Watercolor

4-Week Workshop

Tuesdays, October 5th - November 2nd (NO CLASS Oct 12th) 1:00 - 3:30 p.m.

Nestled within the rectangle, the window is a framing device that creates a relationship between the inside and outside. Painting window settings, learn about perspective, vantage points, cropping, light and value. Works by Andrew Wyeth will be discussed so take the invitation to look and open a window for new inspiration. Reference material provided. Introductory watercolor experience needed. To join, contact the Art Students League of Denver at 303-778-6990 or go to their website at


Watercolor Artist's Blog by Dennis Pendleton

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