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Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

History on Broadway

One night when I was teaching at the Art Students League Of Denver it started snowing so, after class, I ran over to the Mayan Theater on Broadway because I thought the storm would create the perfect setting to paint this iconic Denver Landmark.  The lighting from the street lamps and the giant neon sign were even more interesting than I had imagined and, because of the storm, there were only a few cars on Broadway.  As the snow piled up it eliminated details and the atmospheric effects in the night sky were different and interesting to paint. 

The Mayan Theater opened in 1930 and is one of the country's three remaining theaters designed in the Art Deco Mayan Revival Style.  In the mid 1980's, the theater narrowly escaped the wrecking ball when, at the 11th hour it was saved by a local group "Friends Of The Mayan."  After being restored to its former glory in 1986, the City of Denver declared it to be a historic landmark.  All the snow in this painting is unpainted watercolor paper with strokes and washes of cerulean blue and cobalt violet.  To create the glowing neon sign I used cadmium red and venetian red with lemon yellow added while the reds were still damp.  The street lamps were circled with lemon yellow after the sky colors were painted creating an erie effect as the painting drifts down Broadway.  Denver abounds with historic landmarks, public art, and other interesting subject matter and I am always looking for the perfect setting to turn them into paintings.  Happy Painting!  Dennis Pendleton


Watercolor Artist's Blog by Dennis Pendleton

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