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Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

Taos Delphiniums

Watercolor painting by Dennis Pendleton. My artist friend, Rod Goebel, had the most spectacular garden in Taos that was set up specifically for painting. Because of this rich color environment, there were interesting compositions in every direction no matter where you were standing. Adobe walls meandered through the garden surrounded by flowers and some of my favorites were the delphiniums. Their height and rich colors always made them fun to paint.

In this painting, the distant adobe wall was the entrance to the garden and the closer adobe wall was there to create movement as it wound its way through the garden. The traditional adobe architecture in Taos shows many different subtle earth tones and here I used a mixture of cobalt violet plus yellow ochre and raw sienna. For the delphiniums, I used different values of cerulean blue and cobalt blue. For this many different flowers to work together in a painting, a combination of hard and soft edges is critical as well as a strong foundation created by a good value range from light to dark.

You can follow the sunlight as it lightens the right side of the delphiniums and then turns dark as it gets lost in the shorter plants that are closer together. If you look carefully you can see passages where the color values are close together creating the illusion of soft edges. The orange lilies next to the blue delphiniums creates a subtle vibration as these two complimentary colors work together to create a strong effect. There are so many possibilities with watercolor and it would be impossible to use them all in one painting so I keep telling myself that if I can get the colors, values, shapes and edges to work the rest will fall into place. Thinking like this helps me work with such a complicated and beautiful setting. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton

My Taos Watercolor Workshop set for October 9 - 14 is filling up fast so if you are interested or would like more information send me an email


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