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Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

Workshop Rewards

Watercolor Painting by Dennis Pendleton. This is a plein air painting from my last workshop in Taos New Mexico. As I look at it now I am amazed because it looks like a warm Autumn day in the land of enchantment and yet in reality it was quite cold. Once I started painting, it wasn't long before most of the class moved back into the Mabel Dodge Luhan House to get warm. They also had homemade cookies, tea and coffee in the dining room. In spite of the cold temperature, it was a beautiful day and I was excited to paint this subject because the blue door, kiva ladder and old adobe architecture are so characteristic of this art colony.

The sun was in a good location so the cast shadows were interesting and the the golden autumn colors were a nice warm backdrop behind the guest house. Once I started painting I forgot about the temperature and enjoyed the process. It was such an interesting workshop with sunny warm days, cold days and even a light snow one night. I came home with lots of interesting subject matter for future paintings and plein air paintings from each of the 5 days. The members of the workshop were so much fun to work with and they keep sending me paintings that they have done from photo's and drawings that they accumulated that week.

For the golden trees, I used transparent yellow plus burnt sienna and, for the adobe wall, I mixed cobalt violet with yellow ochre. The door is pure cerulean blue and the ladder is a gray mixture of cerulean blue and red. Mixing grays is such an important part of painting and I used the same mixture in different values for the steps. The shrubbery is olive green with yellow added for the light struck areas and perylene green added for the darker spots.

In 2022 my Taos Watercolor Workshop returns to its regular time in May and the dates are Sunday the 15th to Friday the 20th. Registration is open and people are signing up, so if you would like more information, you can send me an email to and there is also a writeup on my website under classes and workshops. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton


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