Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Denver Botanic Gardens

Denver Botanic Gardens by James Gurney, casein, 5 x 8 inches
We visit the Denver Botanic Gardens, a world class destination for outdoor painting. 

It's hard to choose between the bonsai garden, the lily pads, the orchids and bromeliads, and the native prairie grass environment. Jeanette and I decide on a view from the Romantic Garden toward the Herb Garden.   

It's a study in greens, so I emphasize a variety of different shades of green, and set up spot-contrasts with adjacent red-violets and red-browns. I'm using casein paint in a watercolor sketchbook with my homemade easel with a nylon diffuser all of which fits easily into a small backpack.
Botanical illustrators meet at the Denver Botanic Gardens, and I did a program there back in 2009.
Video tutorial: "Gouache in the Wild"
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Martha said...

Delightful--very European-looking scene.

James Gurney said...

Thanks, Martha! I was thinking of George Elgood, a Victorian garden painter.

Kris Marquardt said...

You painted one of my favorite spots there! Its interesting to see areas I am familiar becoming scenes in a painting.

Krystal said...

So beautilfuly done...

Rich said...

Beautiful, yes!
How would it have looked without the nylon diffuser at hand?
Perhaps this subtle diffuse air / haze / aura would be missing.

Tom Hart said...

Not only a great depiction of greens, but a wonderful sense of atmosphere is really coming across.

I swear you're getting even better!

runninghead said...

Incredible work James. I love the way the photograph shows an interesting house on a sunny day, whereas the painting creates a light suffused idyll of singing colours and glittering highlights. It's like the difference between my subjective experience of my holidays and looking at my holiday snaps months later at home :) Just shows, in a simple unassuming plein air study, how painting and photography are vastly different creatures. Simply lovely.