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Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

Sketchbook Experiments

Watercolor Painting by Dennis Pendleton. My sketchbook workshop for late August is full so I have set up another one for early September and a couple people have already signed up for that one. There will be a way to get more information at the end of this message. Once again we will be meeting at 3 different locations and I have different things for us to work on each day. This is one example of the different compositions I will be demonstrating.


You can see it runs across two pages and the important thing is how I set up my viewpoint. Lowering my eyes to where the fences and tire met the ground, I stayed with that lower viewpoint and painted what I found interesting. This results in a long horizontal composition. As I look at this picture now I realize I should have run the fence on the right on behind the tire and I will definitely do that in my sketchbook. I like trying out different ideas in my sketchbooks, some of which will lead to larger paintings. There is a certain freedom that comes from doing smaller paintings that don't necessarily have to be refined or even finished. It is more about the process and the joy of painting. I have sketchbooks devoted to what I have learned from one artist, some from my travels, and one devoted to pictures that I took but never painted.


In this painting, the white geese are defined by the dark fence behind them and I was careful to capture their gestures. The red hen, in the right corner, is darker that the fence behind her so I was able to try out both ideas. In both cases, their cast shadows settle them down on the ground. The geese are unpainted white paper with a few gray marks to give them volume. The tire and the fences are also different grays and I used mixtures of cerulean blue plus brilliant orange and burnt sienna plus French ultramarine blue. The hen is a combination of burnt sienna and mineral violet with cadmium red on her head and neck. The grass is olive green, lemon yellow and yellow ochre. The effective use of white paper is another thing you can practice in a sketchbook and then use what you learn in future paintings. The next Sketchbook Workshop is Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, September 6, 7, 8, 2024. To find out more information about this workshop Click Here. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton



Watercolor Artist's Blog by Dennis Pendleton

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