This bouquet was so gorgeous I simply had to paint it. I used miskit to mask out the pure white areas on several flowers. Even though I could easily lift off the paint later from the slick YUPO surface, I would not be able to get a crisp edge like I needed for the daisies and lilies.

When you have a minute, check out the slide show on the right hand side bar of this blog. All the paintings in the slide show were created on YUPO, and there are many diverse approaches shown in the slide show.

One of the exciting things about being an artist is being able to 'play and discover' new ways to do things. Painting watercolor on unusual surfaces certainly brings out the playfulness in me. I used to love painting on a sheet of gessoed paper or a sheet of paper with mat medium painted randomly over it, but YUPO is already to go just like it is.

Yesterday, Dawn Bailey (Vulture Cafe - see side bar) and I got a chance to paint together and took just a little time to play on YUPO. We painted a top a picnic table amidst ferns and conifers. It was a perfect day and felt so good to be painting with a friend! Dawn brought along her hummingbird nest, and you wouldn't believe how very small it is to have held two baby birds. We had hotdogs and smoores over the campfire, and I saw a hummingbird dart down to some petunias nearby. What a great time.


"SONNEY'S BOUQUET" Transparent Watercolor on YUPO 15 x 21"



Painting flowers on YUPO can be a challenge because flowers are soft and have lots of lost edges. It's tricky to paint lost or soft edges where you want them on YUPO.

Artists who like to plan each and every stroke and know exactly what will happen next probably will never like YUPO. But if you're an artist who likes spontaneity, excitement, challenges, and surprises, you need to grab a sheet of YUPO and find out what all you can create on it.

I recently signed up to be part of a Yahoo Group called Watercolor Workshop and am starting one of the challenges they have each month. Of course, I'll do the painting on YUPO and post it here soon, too.

Although this post doesn't show it, YUPO is very very white. Sorry for the inaccuracy here.

"FANCY LADIES" Transparent Watercolor on YUPO 12 x 16"



Masa paper is a thin rice paper made out of sulphite, (whatever that is???) not rice. This painting was started the same way the hollyhocks began - see post below.

The whites or light areas in this picture were left as they are and the darker shapes painted around them. Both positive and negative painting was used to create the flowers and leaves.

Masa paper is thin, and when it's wet, it tends to 'ball up' quickly when it's brushed over with several strokes....looks like a cheap sweater if you over stroke the paper. It's best to let an area dry completely before adding more color.

Once the painting was completed, I glued it on a sheet of clean, acid free watercolor paper, using methyl-cellulose wall paper paste, taking care to smooth out the wrinkles without affecting the painted surface. If you haven't treid to paint on this, give it a shot. It's fun and easy - just avoid painting too dark at first.

"RUFFLES" Transparent Watercolors on Masa Paper adhered to 140#CP Arches 11 x 15



This week I'll be painting with a new friend on location, and we'll be using masa paper part of the time. Painting on this kind of rice paper is really easy and fun to do with watercolor.

First, we'll scrunch up the paper in a ball in order to create cracks in the surface of the paper where it'll then absorb the paint darker, kind of ike a batik look. Then we'll soak the ball of paper in water for a half a minute. After carefully spreading the wet paper flat, we'll float on some soft, light colors to create a gentle, subtle background effect.

Some areas may be left white or nearly white, and we may add some salt or spritz the almost dry paper to enhance the textures more. After the paper dries, we'll sketch our subject lightly on the paper.

The next part is the most fun because it's like magic. We'll lightly paint around the subject we've drawn, using existing colors, and pulling the colors out away from the edges of the subject so it doesn't look outlined or haloed at all. The subject will magically appear, and just need to small darks to finish it.

Some people call this "negative" painting because the subject - the positive shape - is avoided, and only the shapes around it are painted. But NEGATIVE painting sounds kind of bad, so one of my art students renamed it - SHADOW PAINTING! What a good description! We are painting the shadows and darker parts of the picture, leaving the existing light colors just as they are.

Some of the stems in this painting were painted negatively and some positively, but most the rest of the painting has been done by negative painting. I'll post a masa paper iris later this week that's created in a similar way. See you soon, Dawn!

"BLUSH OF PINK" Transparent Watercolor on Masa Paper & adhered to 140#CP Arches 9 x 12" COLLECTED