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Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

Spring New Beginnings

Watercolor Painting by Dennis Pendleton. Today is the time change so now we get an extra hour of daylight. Spring is only nine days away and I am already thinking of painting in Denver Botanic Gardens. This is a painting I did there last summer in one of my weekend workshops. The beauty in the gardens can be overwhelming and sometimes it is hard to settle down on one specific spot to paint. After placing my painting supplies on a table or bench I like to walk around, usually with a viewer, in search of possible subjects. This is an interesting time because I usually find more than I could possibly paint in one day. To help me decide I look for several specific things, is there a close arrangement of different colors and sizes, where is the sunlight coming from, and can I set up without being in the way of people exploring the gardens. With these things in mind, I know I can adjust values and edges if need be and I can also change nature's arrangement to suit my fancy. With this last one, just moving a flower or two just slightly can make all the difference.


After setting up I chose one flower, the white daisy, to be the dominate player and decided where to place it in my composition. That is where I started drawing and later started painting. My drawing was a simple one with only a few outlines. In my case, the simpler the drawing the looser the painting. The white daisy is mostly unpainted white paper brought into focus by the colors around it, some of which are other flowers and some are just bits of color. I made sure that some of the white petals were defined by rich darks so that I would have a strong contrast in values. As I added the other flowers and leaves I worked for an interesting arrangement where everything complimented the white daisy.


For the center of the daisy I used transparent yellow and burnt sienna and olive green plus French ultramarine blue for the leaves and stems. Lemon and yellow ochre were used for the yellow flowers and the blues are cerulean blue and French ultramarine. You can also see cobalt violet and mineral violet here and there throughout the painting. If you would like to know more about my summer Weekend Watercolor Workshops at Denver Botanic Gardens Click Here. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton



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