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Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

Paul Cezanne's House

Watercolor Painting by Dennis Pendleton. Aux in Provence is a picturesque town in Southern France known for its many fountains. It is the town where Paul Cezanne, the Post-Impressionist painter, lived and this is a painting of his house. He lived downstairs and the second floor was his studio. It was later owned by a man who only lived on the first floor so the studio remained just as Paul Cezanne left it. Today it is a museum with his painting supplies, easel, coat, beret and many of the objects that he painted in his still lifes. He was a very temperamental artist and it is said that when he didn't like one of his paintings, he would often throw it out a window into the trees that surrounded his home. One of the unique things in his studio is a long slit in the wall where he removed a painting that was too big to fit through the door. Why he didn't remove the canvas from its stretcher and roll it up remains a mystery.

The sunlight in this area of France is known for its unique beauty and I was fascinated by how the delicate shadows were full of color and detail. As you can see here, the entire house was in shadow with dappled sunlight here and there. The overhanging tree branches surrounded the doorway in the most charming way and I pushed the door open slightly to indicate that Cezanne's spirit was still there. A mixture of cerulean blue and cadmium red was used for the gray stone steps, plant containers, and ground. Because I did not stir up the two colors, you can see pure cerulean blue in many places. Simply pushing colors together rather than stirring them up can result in much more interesting and cleaner colors. The door is a mixture of yellow ochre and mineral violet with the two watering cans being pure cerulean blue. Lemon yellow and olive green were mixed for the leaves with the addition of ultramarine blue for the darker values.

With most of the painting in shadow, the few bits of sunlight on the house and ground helped to represent the beautiful Provence sunlight that artists love. If you ever find yourself in Provence be sure and visit Aux and take a walk up the hill to this museum where you can see where one of the worlds great artist lived and worked. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton


Watercolor Artist's Blog by Dennis Pendleton

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