Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Fanno Creek Fall

                                                            watercolor on Yupo 26x20

Last November I stumbled on a new watercolor technique for Yupo. I painted the whole sheet with a pale milky wash that contained a little color and a lot of white watercolor paint. I smoothed it out with a good house painter`s brush and then while it was still wet, I dropped saturated color into it. The brilliant white Yupo reflected plenty of light and kept everything looking transparent. I learned to use true watercolor brushes that held lots of paint, yet came to a point, to develop the shapes and add new layers on top of the earlier ones without disturbing them. I blended the edges which seemed too sharp. The advantage to this method is, because it is watercolor, it can be lifted and removed. I can draw into it with a wet Q-tip or brush and then blot off the wet paint. Whole areas can be wiped down to the bare white plastic to begin again.  I can soften areas by gently pressing a damp sponge onto the surface. There is a different kind of versatility than my usual technique of getting acrylics involved from the outset. If I have a difficulty later in the process they are always available for corrections.

work for sale in my studio


RH Carpenter said...

I used to love painting watercolors on Yupo but then became totally against it when I found the Yupo changes color (yellows over time), and the colors are never truly fixed on the plastic but will rewet from moisture in the air or from your hands when you handle the plastic piece, etc. Plus I am just unsure about the plastic of the Yupo and how it works with watercolor or acrylic paints in the long run, although I know there are lots of artists out there using it. Check out George James' work on Yupo with watercolor - he does a lot of techniques with sponge rollers, etc., to soften edges. Some artists say, "Go ahead and use it, it will last forever because it's plastic." Others say, "It's for the printing business and not for art." You can remove the acrylic paint from it using rubbing alcohol.

Randall David Tipton said...

Thanks Rhonda, there are many concerns artists have with Yupo. My experience in working with it for 9 years, is to see no change at all, including framed pieces on the wall. I wish some company or lab would settle this issue for good. If they can test lightfastness in pigments, surely some experiments with Yupo would be easy to conduct. At the prices my work sells for, I definitely think the benefit outweighs the risk for a collector. There is nothing else I`ve found with its qualities. Much of contemporary art uses many more questionable 'mediums'. Asphalt for instance [Donald Sultan]. How will that hold up? I say 'buyer be informed, seller be honest' and let`s do good work on surfaces that advance what we do.

RH Carpenter said...

You're right, Randall, there should be some tests someone could do to check the constancy and lasting qualities over years, decades, etc. We want our work to be around long after we are gone and hope others can appreciate it anew :) Do you spray seal the work after it's done or do you have to do that with acrylic?
Yes, I understand about even stranger mediums and supports (I'm thinking of Jamie Wyeth working on cardboard) which will not stand the test of time. I do love the look of what watercolor and fluid acrylics will do on Yupo so I would love to be told by someone who knows that it will hold up longer than I will :) You certainly have years of experience with it so maybe what I've been told and seen was not indicative of the support.
Have a wonderful weekend. Keep creating and keep exploring. I certainly like the milky softness of this one and it matches the softness of the acrylics you've done in the past.

Ruth Armitage said...

What a gorgeous work... one of my favorites! Whatever you're doing, keep doing it!