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High Desert Painting

May 27, 2019

I am at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House for the first night of my Taos Watercolor Workshop.  Tomorrow we begin five days of plein air painting at different locations around Taos.  I painted this picture on an earlier visit and it is typical of the subject matter we will be working on this week.  This old adobe home with its gentle curves, absence of straight lines, earth tones and old adobe wall and gate is typical of the subjects I choose for the workshop.  I was intrigued by the cast shadows from the trees and how they explained the curves and shape of the building.  A mixture of cobalt violet and yellow ochre was used for the adobe with a slightly darker version for the cast shadows.  I used the wire fence, posts, and adobe wall to create a zigzag pattern and give movement to the painting.  The trees behind the home added depth and were painted with olive green and a little cerulean blue.  The spring leaves on the trees in front of the house are a mixture of olive green and yellow.  I deliberately tilted the fence posts, trees, wall and gate, for more movement and charm.  I can hardly wait for tomorrow when we will be painting in the high desert sunlight.   Happy Painting!  Dennis Pendleton

 

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