Sunday, May 03, 2009

Have you Ever Done It on Yupo?

Camellias - 8 x 10 - on Yupo paper (top)
Camellias - 8 x 10 - on hot-press watercolor paper (second)
Camellia - 2.5 x 3.5 - on Strathmore trading card paper (third)
Yupo (fourth)
An artist friend asked for help in using his digital camera. During our visit he asked me if I'd ever painted on Yupo paper. I said I'd tried it once, but wasn't that familiar with it. We talked about it for a while.
So like telling a child not to do something, I had to go and do it. That is, paint something on Yupo. You can see the result in the top image. It was like painting on glass and took me a week. Every night I'd come home and add more paint, but it was more like subtracting paint, because every stroke of the brush took off what was underneath. In my opinion, it ended up looking like a pile of mud.
Because I'd intended this painting for a birthday gift, I couldn't very well give someone a pile of mud, so I had to do it over again. This time I used hot-press watercolor paper (second image). The inspiration came from Bev Jozwiak, the watercolor artist who told me she pretty much paints in one shot, that is; no tedious layer after layer. In my last post I wrote (in reference to Bev Jozwiak), "I figure if she can do it, so can I." Now I'm not claiming to be anywhere near the watercolorist Bev Jozwiak is, but it's amazing how a few words of advice from one artist can influence another. This painting took only one day!
The third image is just a small trading-card sized painting I'll use as the birthday card to accompany the birthday gift.
And the last image is, you guessed it - Yupo paper!

So I'll leave it up to you, do you like the hot-press version, or the Yupo version? Post your reply as a comment to this post. Whatever you tell me will influence my next watercolor.


Milé Murtanovski said...


I prefer the first painting done on Yupo, being more lively and having more points of textural interest.

I'm just beginning my explorations on Yupo and it's great to see other artists working on this surface.

I simply work flat, not taping the paper down so that I can redirect the paint as needed/desired. Although I begin with a pretty tight drawing, my approach to painting on Yupo is very chaotic (compared to my watercolours on regular paper), as I try to match the unpredictability of the surface, and there's a lot of spattering of paint and clear water.

Like working on traditional w/c paper, I take breaks and let certain portions dry, all the while spattering paint and clear water for effects.

You can see a few of my Yupo watercolours here:

Experimentation is key with this surface. Keep it up!


Carrie H. said...

I like what you get from the Yupo - the unexpected!