View Full Version : Valley in Cortland

Adriana Meiss
07-27-2008, 11:25 PM
I just wanted to share with you something I did today.
Normally I work on sanded papers, but I have noticed that I tend to overdo with pastel application. Knowing that the paper can hold several layers of pastel has made me a little bit lazy and careless in many aspects.

To overcome this problem I have been practicing with Canson and other papers. Today I decided to redo a piece I had done 2-yrs ago, that had some problems with composition and color.

I had a goal in mind:to use as little pastel as possible --in other words, thinking the piece through and being careful with color selection. For this purpose I used Fabriano Tiziano paper, in a mustard color. This paper is similar to Canson in thickness, but the texture is different. Both sides have a linear pattern. "13"x19"; a mix of pastels.

Here are the results in stages (click to enlarge):



Even though I signed it (to feel I had accomplished what I had set to do :lol: ) comments are welcome. Thanks for looking,

pastel lover
07-28-2008, 12:02 AM
Hi Adrianna,

This is really pretty, so peaceful. I don't know how you achieved such a smooth gradiation in the sky using that linear paper. Amazing. Of course, all of your work is. I truly admire all of you landscape painters. You have done a beautiful job & I agree that you accomplished your goal.


07-28-2008, 12:05 AM
Very nice Adrianna nice depth, thanks for the wip love seeing these from start to finish

07-28-2008, 01:18 AM
lovely !! ... appreciate the wip too !! ... :thumbsup:

07-28-2008, 05:41 AM
Hi Adriana,
this is so beautiful!!!
And the WIP was very helpful. Thank you for showing this. :heart:

07-28-2008, 07:13 AM
Wonderful landscape and excellent painted. I like your style and choice of colors.

Donna T
07-28-2008, 08:17 AM
Thanks so much for showing all the steps in this one, Adriana. I give you credit for using a mustard color paper. I am so influenced by strong colors like that that it's such a mental battle just to get started! I see that you un-mustarded the sky right away and laid in the darks. Did you find that you had to be most careful with your darks because you could only bring their values up so far? I really like how this turned out and how you used that mustard color to your advantage in the foreground.


07-28-2008, 09:02 AM
Wow, I'm not into landscapes but this one is superb.

07-28-2008, 09:20 AM
This is wonderfully GREEN! The technique worked well on this paper...thanks for showing the steps. Great exercise in exploring materials.
Very nice!

Deborah Secor
07-28-2008, 09:49 AM
I was looking at Bill Cone's work recently (someone around here had posted a link) and the thing I admire is that he uses such a spare hand with the pastel that sooner or later as you come closer to the work it almost decomposes visually, becoming beautiful stokes of pastel on paper... I think your painting has some similar qualities. Excellent way to explore new materials and lighten your touch at the same time!


07-28-2008, 10:22 AM
Great depth and color in this...love it!

Adriana Meiss
07-28-2008, 10:24 AM
Thank you all for your comments!

Scotty, Violet, Martina, Rudi, Jim,and Mike I'm glad you like it and some of you find it helpful.

As an experimental piece I'm very happy with it. At least I didn't end up covering every inch of of the paper--it was hard resisting the temptation! Although I did not mention it, but I struggled with some areas.

Tanja, my method for this sky was to layer 3 different colors: blue on top, light blue in the middle, and a very light blue or white closer to the horizon. Then, with the work flat on a table, I used the heel of my hand from left to right to blend it. The point was to mix the top color with the medium one, and then the medium one with the lightest. It is easier to start with the lighter area and move to the top, this way you do not have to clean your hand very often. To make a smoother transition I added more color where needed and used my fingers.

Donna, almost always I start with the sky, simply to prevent the light dust falling over darker colors. Also, I find it easier and less messy when I apply greens close to the sky. I did struggle with this color of paper. I found it great for the foreground but very difficult for the distance. If I decide to redo this on a sanded paper, I'll use a pastel under painting with ocher in the foreground, maybe blue in the middle ground and lavender in the sky.
And specially because of that mustard, I had to establish from the very beginning my darkest areas. Even so, I had trouble with those trees and the ones in the second row. I think those need to be darker.

Cindy, I love green but now I think it looks a tad too green, I wonder if it is the paper or my tendency to use bright greens. Probably me :lol:

Deborah, Yes, I checked Cone's website. It's absolutely amazing. I'm afraid the only area of light touch was the foreground, but that's a start!
I'm also motivated by the work of Lionel Aggett. His paintings of panoramic views are great. He uses very little pastel and lets the support color work for him.

Thank you again,

07-28-2008, 04:32 PM
Adrianna, this is just excellent. Love all the green and the path that leads the eye to the distant farms.


07-28-2008, 09:38 PM
The trees are beautifully done.

Paula Ford
07-29-2008, 05:51 AM
Lovely piece Adriana! Definately makes me home sick. The greens are so lush and the valley, panoramic view, is just beautiful!

I always used to love the drive from the Binghamton area up to Syracuse on 81. That is what this reminds me of.

07-29-2008, 06:51 AM
Nice experiment Adriana, lovely landscape.

Mario V
07-29-2008, 09:32 AM
Adriana, great work:thumbsup: I'm becoming admirer of yours :D

thanks for the WIP

Adriana Meiss
07-29-2008, 07:27 PM
Thank you for looking!

binkie, the path leading to the farms was the main correction I did to the first version.

Linn, I'm glad you like them, but the truth is that I'm not completely happy with them, color wise. At this point the tooth of the paper got clogged and I made several wrong color choices.

Paula yep! 20 miles south of Syracuse, on Rt 81. I'm beginning to think that the paper has a lot to do with my choice of greens... If I go for a third version, I'll do it on a light sanded paper.

Tressa, yes, it's nice to take the time to experiment. I cannot let paper surfaces scare me!
Mario, what a nice thing to hear!

08-02-2008, 05:28 PM
I recognize the view and wouldn't change a thing! I used to live in upstate NY (Ithaca) and have glanced west, as you did here, off the highway heading up to Syracuse. This beautifully rendered piece makes me homesick!

Oops! I just saw Paula's note of homesickness - you really caught the "place".

Dave in the Couteau of East River, SD