Lyon Mountain

A few years ago we met friends in the Adirondacks, and hiked up Lyon Mountain. The view from the top is quite something, and it was a clear day so we were likely seeing peaks in the distance as far away as Vermont to the east and Lake Placid to the south. I took plenty of photos from the summit, but the one that I kept coming back to as reference for a painting was one that I took on the way down the mountain.

It was taken from a footbridge that crossed over a stream, and the early autumn colours reflected in the pooled water were quite stunning. I love the abstract quality of the photo and I decided to try this one in gouache on toned tan paper, and hopefully maintain some of abstractness of the image in my sketch. I’m still having fun with gouache, and I’ll keep experimenting to see where it takes me. In a scene like this where it’s mostly darks, I appreciate being able to add lighter tones as highlights.

25 Comments on “Lyon Mountain”

  1. karim waked says:


    514 9944433


  2. Bernadette says:

    Lovely! Greens can be difficult and seems that they all run together without much variety. Your greens are the best.
    Thanks for sharing.


  3. Northern Traveller says:

    This is beautiful – I love this foray into gouaches.
    The Adirondacks are a great hiking destination. I once hiked there solo for a few days and slept in a lean-to in the central valley. A brown bear and her pups walked right in front of me as I was setting up – happily, my food was already strung up in the trees. Well, didn’t she send the pups right up after it….. Happily for me, they were not successful.
    I really enjoy your beautiful paintings and writing. Mary


  4. Jeff Gold says:

    Hi Shari. It seems that you have evolved a new technique when using gouache. I see it in this painting and also it appeared in “Painting on thin ice” and “Window view”. It’s the “brushy” semi-dry brushstroke that you used in the bottom of this painting and for the feathery tree branches in “thin ice”. It’s very effective and actually adds a transparency of sorts to the otherwise opaque handling of the gouache. I really like the effect. Looking forward to more.


    • Thanks Jeff. Good observation about the dry brush thing. As I work with gouache I appreciate being able to try different effects with the paint. One of them is to overlap colours of different temperatures, or different values. After all these years sketching in watercolour, it is more or less predictable, but gouache is still surprising me. So, like you with your iPad, I will keep playing with this.


  5. Emily Neel says:

    My favorite colors. You are really getting good at this gouache thing. I think I may have to try.


  6. joantav says:

    Nice use of the gouache! Lovely!!!


  7. Denise Wyant says:

    Very nice! I love how all the colors work together to bring the leaves and water to life! With how dreary it’s been here, I love your vibrant blue!


  8. Carol Balabanow says:

    Very different from your signature style. I love it! Incredible variety of greens.


  9. Uma Maheswar Nakka says:

    Good Evening Dear friend Shari,

    Very beautiful sketch,
    Amazing color blending , very few colors depicting an excellent image.
    Regards and blessings,


  10. Betsy says:

    OH I just fainted over backwards. Ever so beautiful.


  11. I’m pretty sure I can see Lyon Mountain from Cornwall. When you look to our south you can see the Adirondalks in the far distance. They are at least 70km away, but visiable. I know you can see Montreal on a clear day from Whiteface.


  12. Ginette Pierson says:

    I love the abstraction and sense of movement in this painting.


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