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Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

Winter Carnival Venice

This is a Watercolor Painting by Dennis Pendleton. An experience of a lifetime was when I was in Venice for Winter Carnival. It is the same time as our Mardi Gras and for the same religious celebration. The costumes were breathtaking with giant birds of prey, costumes from different opera's, kings and queens, and on and on. Unlike our Mardi Gras, Winter Carnival in Venice does not have floats and everyone is walking or in a gondola. I will never forget being at the opera and seeing different costumes in the balconies.

The most spectacular time was at night when Saint Marks Square was a feast for the eyes. There was actually a third "chinaman" who did not make it into my painting and I was later told that they were comical characters from an opera. I loved how the lights from the red lanterns lit up their faces and that was my main interest in this painting. I wanted the figure on the left to dominate so I made the other one slightly smaller with less detail and then cropped his left side with the border. The colors at night were stunning and I blended lemon yellow into the edges of the costumes to show the lights coming through the windows in the restaurant behind the two characters.

I had great fun painting all the beadwork, ribbons, gold trim, and fabrics knowing that these costumes were probably handed down from generation to generation. I darkened the borders to show that this was at night and this is also a way to keep the viewers eyes in the painting. The emerald green pillar on the far left was a nice compliment to all the red colors and yellow appears over and over tying the painting together. Saint Marks square was crowded with tourists and locals and people in costume stood patiently for hours while we all took pictures. I have over a hundred pictures from this adventure and, from time to time, I get them out and do another painting to remind me of that spectacular time in the city that time forgot. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton


Watercolor Artist's Blog by Dennis Pendleton

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