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Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

Painting A Taos Landmark

Watercolor Painting by Dennis Pendleton. I just returned from my Taos In Watercolor Workshop where we spent 4 and 1/2 days painting in the high desert. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who participated and congratulate them for the terrific plein air paintings they produced.

On Tuesday, we painted at the iconic Couse House and museum and I decided to include two pictures, one of my painting and one photo of the subject. I included the photograph below of the Couse House porch because I wanted to show how photo's generally show shadows to dark and uninteresting and this is something you need to understand if you paint from photo's. You can see from my painting that, in reality, the shadows on the porch are much lighter and full of color. The blue rocking chair and the colors on the wall are not visible in the photo. If I decide to do a larger painting of this in my studio, I will have the photo's and my plein air painting for reference.

In the past, there were always red poppies growing among the rocks in the yard so I included them in my painting even though they weren't open yet. This is an example of artistic license. The top of the interior wall is a mixture of cerulean blue and red and the lower part is Indian red with a little bit of mineral violet. The rocking chair is cerulean blue and the grasses in the yard are olive green plus ultramarine blue. The poppies are cadmium red and the other flowers are lemon yellow and cerulean blue. The rocks are unpainted white paper plus different grays mixed with cerulean blue, Indian red and yellow ocher.

I paint from life as well as from photo's and, if you paint from photo's, remember that the shadows are often too dark and don't show the details and colors that you would see if you were there on location. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton


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