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Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

The Pigeon Condos

Watercolor Painting by Dennis Pendleton. One of the unique things about the historic Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos, New Mexico are the pigeon condo's that Mabel had built on the property. They are always fun to paint because they add an unusual element to the rambling adobe architecture. There is a stream behind this wall that nourishes giant cottonwoods and runs under the little bridge that leads up to the hotel entrance. As the legendary Taos sunlight changes throughout the day, different subject matter appears and we spend at least one day painting there on my annual Taos in Watercolor Workshop. We headquarter at the lodge and start each painting day with their delicious buffet breakfasts.


In this painting, I added some gold to the trees behind the wall to separate them from the green tree in front of the wall. Normally warm colors come forward but, in this case, the warm gold tree is placed behind the wall and the bird houses. The adobe wall and the ground are the same color mixture and the ground is a lighter value to show that it is struck by sunlight. The green tree in the upper right corner is the same color mixture as the big tree on the right and again a value change makes the difference. The tree on the right looks further away because it is a lighter value.


The adobe wall is a mixture of cobalt violet and yellow ochre and so is the ground. The big tree was painted with olive green plus lemon yellow and the trunk is a mixture of burnt sienna and French ultramarine blue. The pigeon houses are a mixture of yellow ochre and burnt sienna and their poles and platforms are that familiar mixture of burnt sienna and French ultramarine blue. The gold tree was painted with lemon yellow, yellow ochre and cobalt violet.


There are still a couple spaces left in my Taos Watercolor Workshop in May and you can find dates and details by Clicking Here. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton



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