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Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

Perfect Vehicle for Painting

Watercolor Painting by Dennis Pendleton. On a painting trip to New England I found this old truck parked next to a graveyard in a little picturesque town in New Hampshire and I was struck by how the bright sunlight caused so many temperature changes. The yellow truck had warm cast shadows all over it from the fall colors in the trees and the dirt road, because of the fall leaves, actually appeared gold in the afternoon sunlight. In the background the trees had a cool cast and their leaves were a cooler blue green. I would guess that about 85% of this painting is warm colors and that causes the few cool colors to stand out more than they normally would. Concentrating so much on color temperature helped me eliminate details and work with simple shapes like I did with the distant trees. When you come across a scene like this that just begs to be painted it is tempting to put in too much detail. I took extra time when drawing the truck but then quickly sketched in the rest of the composition. I still don't know if the truck was being used or just parked there to add to the charm of the town. Branches from the trees dropped over the truck in several places indicating it had been parked there for some time. For the truck I avoided cadmium yellow which is very bright and instead worked with lemon yellow which I thought would show off the warm cast shadows more effectively. For the cool distant trees I mixed lemon yellow with cerulean blue and for the distant iron fence I used burnt sienna and raw umber. The trees on the left are mixtures of cadmium red, cadmium yellow, venetian red, and transparent yellow with some cerulean blue sprinkled in at the top. Some of the unpainted white paper is visible on the road and the gold colors are a mixture of yellow and raw sienna. Looking at this painting reminds me how much I enjoyed painting in New England. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton


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