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Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

A Heroine's Home

Watercolor Painting by Dennis Pendleton. I am always looking for historic places in Denver that I can paint in watercolor and this is the Molly Brown House. It is a museum now offering tours and lectures describing what life was like when she lived there. Molly was a Denver socialite who earned the nickname "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" when she survived the sinking of the Titanic.

The house is stone with wood trim, sculptures of lions out front, large stone vases and a circular balcony on the second floor. Inside there is all the modern conveniences of that time including indoor plumbing and a telephone. I believe it is the artist responsibility to make any small changes that will improve the painting. Here I chose to light up the windows and doorway in spite of the fact that it was the middle of the afternoon and I increased the space between the trees so that more of the house was visible.

For the colors of the stones, I mixed cerulean blue with a little cadmium red and added yellow ochre when I wanted a warmer temperature. If all the stones on the front of the house were the same temperature it would have been a boring facade. I added texture to the rocks by tapping them with a wadded up tissue while they were still damp and even added a few finger prints. For the dark gray wood trim, I mixed burnt sienna with ultramarine blue and, the natural wood trim is a mixture of yellow ochre and burnt sienna. I set it up so the trees framed the house and painted the leaves with olive green, cadmium yellow, lemon yellow and cerulean blue. The lights in the windows and doorway are lemon yellow, yellow ochre and cobalt violet. I am delighted that historic homes like this have been preserved in Denver and painting them is a privilege. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton

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