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Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

Watercolor Impressionism

Watercolor Painting by Dennis Pendleton. I painted again in Denver Botanic Gardens this weekend and the weather was quite comfortable as we set up in the shade. Thanks to all the gardeners and volunteers, the gardens keep changing and there is never a shortage of dazzling subjects. I set up on a little path that ended in these flowers and started right away with a simple pencil drawing. I deliberately did not include much detail because I wanted to capture an impression rather than photographic realism.

Starting in the center of the composition, I painted the yellow flowers and then surrounded them with rich darks of perylene green mixed with olive to increase their importance. The white flowers are mostly unpainted white paper with bits of cerulean blue and cobalt violet. I added a few of them in other locations to guide the viewers eye around the painting. There were also some stringy white flowers that I left as unpainted white paper and then later covered then with a light wash of cerulean blue. The gold flowers on the right were painted with transparent yellow and their stems are olive green. Transparent yellow is one of my favorite colors because it allows the white paper to glow through rather than covering it completely like more opaque colors. For the green area along the bottom border, I started with a light yellow green and then, when it was dry, I cut back in with a darker green to create leaves.

Spattering was included here and there as I was painting. With the painting upright, I misted a couple areas with my spray bottle to encourage the colors to run together. This helps to relate the different areas of color to each other so the composition holds together. I have one more weekend workshop this month in Denver Botanic Gardens and I hope you will consider joining me. The information is below. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton

Denver Botanic Gardens Workshop August 27, 28, & 29, 2021. You can sign up for one, two or all three days and the prices are $95 for one day, $170 for two days, and $225 for all three days. For further information or to sign up send me an email


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