Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

Pendleton's Muse


Watercolor Painting by Dennis Pendleton. The famous art colony of Taos, New Mexico provides so many interesting subjects for painting and this is one of my favorites. Next to the iconic Saint Francis Mission is this abandoned group of ramshackle adobe buildings that I have painted many times. Every year in my May Watercolor Workshop I visit this compound and, every year, it is a little more run down. I have painted it so many times that the workshop attendees have taken to calling it Pendleton's muse.

For this painting I was there in the late morning when the sun was practically overhead and the cast shadows that resulted from the sunlight shinning through the broken roof made this an even more compelling subject. Starting with the leaves and branches behind the buildings, I used olive green and olive green plus cerulean blue then burnt sienna plus ultramarine blue for the dark branches. Then a few dots of lemon yellow finished this area. The adobe colors are yellow ochre, cobalt violet, and mineral violet and the roof is a gray mixed with cerulean blue and cadmium red. To capture the sunlight I simply used lighter values of these same colors.. The grass is yellow ochre plus olive green with visible brush strokes and some scratching out. Burnt sienna, raw umber, burnt umber and ultramarine blue were used to create the texture on the cottonwood tree and the boards in the yard are the same colors that I used on the roof. A mixture of raw umber, cerulean blue, and cobalt violet was used for the muddy area between the buildings.

There were so many points of interest that I did not choose one for a focal point but rather created different "effects" such as the dark doorway with the rich cerulean blue support beam, the pattern of cast shadows on the surface of the adobe wall, and the curving edge along the top of the buildings. More and more I like creating different "effects" rather than a single focal point.

My 2023 Taos Watercolor Workshop is scheduled for May 14 - 19 and there are only 3 spaces left so if you are interested send me an email to pendletonstudio@gmail.com. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton

Watercolor Artist's Blog by Dennis Pendleton

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