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Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

Sketchbook Spontaneity

Watercolor Painting by Dennis Pendleton. This is a page from my Hahnemuhle sketchbook with two images from Taos, New Mexico. Sketchbooks are a wonderful tool for artists to put down small studies and try out new ideas. Some of the paintings from my sketchbooks have been developed into larger paintings but most of them remain as memories and color notes that remind me why I love painting. Because these pages will remain in my sketchbook and never see a frame, I can have fun doing whatever I want like putting two different paintings on the same page. I can also experiment with color like putting a pink mountain against a night sky. Even though these are small paintings, I still work on the things that interest me the most like color, values, shapes, edges, brushwork, and countercharge.


Because I don't have any great expectations for these pages they often end up in a loose style that looks spontaneous. Looking through the pages in my sketchbooks reminds me to keep my paintings loose and direct. Look at the foreground in the horizontal landscape and see how I used simple brushstrokes of colors in the same family to create the textures I wanted. Also, the clothes on the line are just daps of rich color that add vitality and energy to the composition.


The study of the mission in the upper right corner was done from memory and it gave me a chance to see how colors might look different at night. For fun I painted a pink mountain and used lime green for the wooden towers. My imagination is usually running rampant and that is another reason I enjoy trying different ideas in a sketchbook.


The deep blue sky is indigo with bits of cerulean blue and cobalt violet was mixed with rose dore for the pink mountain. The adobe mission is a mixture of yellow ochre and mineral violet. Cerulean blue and ultramarine blue were used for the window. In the horizontal landscape, the adobe was painted with yellow ochre and cobalt violet. Olive green, lemon yellow, and ultramarine blue were used for the tree and the trunks are gray mixed with cerulean blue and cadmium red. The foreground is strokes of burnt sienna, yellow ochre, and raw umber and the dark tree on the right border is a mixture of perylene green and cerulean blue. There are still a couple spaces available in my Taos Watercolor Workshop and you can find out more information Click Here. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton



Watercolor Artist's Blog by Dennis Pendleton

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