View From A Paris Bridge


Watercolor Painting by Dennis Pendleton. Like a lot of people I miss traveling but I am encouraged that restrictions are gradually being lifted. Paris is one of my favorite destinations and this painting is the view from one of the bridges on the Seine. The tour buses were the perfect shot of rich color among all the muted colors of the river and the bridge. They provide an inexpensive way to get an overview of the city and they stop at most of the biggies like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. Just like in my painting, the buses are very popular and jammed with tourists. Notre Dame is the church in the background and obviously this was before the fire. I understand that reconstruction is moving right along and they have experts in charge of authenticating every detail. I remember walking up the winding stairs and looking out over the gargoyles for a gorgeous view of the city. I used a combination of cobalt violet and, cerulean blue, and yellow ochre for the gray-pink colors on the facade of this famous cathedral and cerulean blue plus a little cadmium red for the grays of the bridge and walls dropping down to the river. Learning to mix different grays is important because they are used to show off other colors just the way they emphasize the yellow buses here. Little marks of color is all that was needed to indicate the passengers. The two figures walking the dog on the river walkway are simple silhouettes that add interest but do not compete with the tour busses for attention. When I painted the large trees I thought of them as shapes that got darker around the buses drawing your attention to that area and, even though the facade of Notre Dame has the most detail in the painting, I used only light to middle values allowing the buses to remain the focal point where you find the darkest values and richest colors. I am looking forward to another trip to Paris where I can paint more scenes like this. In June I will be teaching an Online Zoom class at the Art Students League of Denver, "Painting Paris in Watercolor", and if you would like more information, send me an email to pendletonstudio@gmail.com. Happy Painting!

Dennis Pendleton

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