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Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

The Garden Calls

Watercolor Painting by Dennis Pendleton. Denver Botanic Gardens are exploding with rich colors right now and trying to decide where to start painting can be exciting and intimidating at the same time. Beginning with a color scheme is one way to give you a head start. Here I used a double complimentary color scheme with the compliments yellow and violet plus red and green. They are called compliments because they compliment each other in a painting and they are opposite each other on the color wheel.

I pushed the boundaries a little because I used several different yellows, cadmium, lemon. and transparent yellow plus cobalt violet and mineral violet. For the other compliments, I used cadmium red, alizarin crimson, red orange and Indian red plus olive, perylene, and other greens mixed with different yellows and blues. With this range of compliments, I can create all the color excitement I want and still have a painting that holds together.

Another important aspect of this painting is the size relationships. Notice that the yellow and violet flowers are basically the same size, the red flower is a totally different size and shape, and the green leaves range from tiny to large. The blue flowers which I added to the double complimentary color scheme as an accent color are also different sizes and shapes. Starting with a plan like using a color scheme and working with different sizes and shapes can allow you to do a loose painting that still has an underlying structure. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton

There is still space available in my upcoming Denver Botanic Gardens Weekend Watercolor Workshops and the dates are: June 2, 3, & 4, 2023...July 14, 15 & 16, 2023... August 18, 19 & 20, 2023 and you can sign up for 1, 2, or all 3 days. The prices are $95 for one day, $170 for 2 days and $225 for all 3 days. If you would like to sign up or have any questions, send me an email to


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