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Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

Adobe Splendor

Watercolor Painting by Dennis Pendleton. I just returned from my annual Watercolor Workshop in Taos, New Mexico and I would like to thank all the artists who participated. The weather and the sunlight were fabulous and it was fun painting with everyone. I returned to Denver with plein air paintings and drawings in my sketchbook and decided to do this painting from one of those sketches and photo's that I had taken. I was captivated by the sunlight coming through the trees that I had been studying all week wandering how best to capture it in watercolor. It always seemed like the best time was in the late afternoon when we were doing our critiques so I didn't get a painting done on sight but several of the other artists did successful paintings of this same subject.

This is just one little corner of the historic rambling adobe Mabel Dodge Luhan Lodge where we all stayed. All the old adobe homes and buildings in Taos have slightly different coloring so there is no exact mixture that works for all of them. In this case, I mixed cobalt violet with yellow ochre and found out the hard way that both colors better be Winsor&Newton. I discovered a long time ago that the same color by different companies is not always the same.

For the darker shadow areas on the adobe, I added mineral violet to yellow ochre. For the sunlight coming through the trees, I painted mixtures of lemon yellow, cerulean blue, olive green, and perylene green. The tree trunks and branches in that area are a mixture of burnt sienna and ultramarine blue. The evergreen tree on the right is a mixture of perylene green and olive green and the trunk is perylene green and burnt sienna. For the flagstones, I mixed cerulean blue, raw umber and cobalt violet with lots of water. Finally, the window is Taos Blue which is a mixture of cerulean blue and a little olive green.

Values, that is how light or dark things are, provide the strength and foundation of paintings and in the adobe shapes alone there are five different values. The sharp contrast between the light and dark values throughout this painting were essential in capturing the sunlight which was actually the subject of this painting. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton


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