In 'pre-YUPO' days, the unique surfaces available to paint on were either gessoed watercolor paper or watercolor paper coated with gloss medium. Aquacanvas, Aquaboard, and Clayboard for Watercolor hadn't arrived yet, and YUPO, then called Kimdura paper, was just beginning to emerge in the art world as a surface to explore.

This watercolor painting was created over layers of gloss medium. First, the polymer gloss medium was applied in two or three coats to create a slick, smooth finish, and each coat had to dry before the next one was applied.

The very week that I painted this picture was the same week someone handed me a small sheet of YUPO, back in 1997. It took two years for me to find my way on that slick YUPO surface, even more slick than the gloss medium surface. I nearly hated the crazy things that happened with the paint on YUPO then, but I refused to give up. Finally, a few breakthroughs encouraged me to keep painting on the YUPO. How I love it now! The possibilities are limitless of what can be created on this incredible surface.

Next Wednesday, I'll be giving a YUPO demo at the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society meeting in Mt. Adams. We'll also have a class afterwards so that artists can further explore how to handle this surface. This time the demo will be with Fluid Acrylics, applied like watercolor. Hope to see you there if you live in the area.

Here's the painting reversed, to make a point of how our eye normally prefers to enter a picture from the left. Here the waterfalls is, in our minds, falling down (into the lower left hand corner,) and it seems that it's hard to go up against the flow to enter the painting at the lower left. What do you think? Is there better eye movement throughout the painting with the falls in the lower left or the lower right?

"OREGON" Transparent Watercolor on 140# Hot Pressed Arches precoated with Gloss Medium, 30 x 22"


Barb said...

Definitely better entering from the left. I have never tried the gloss medium - you have piqued my interest - think I will have to try it. Your posts are always so interesting and informative.

jane minter said...

for me the top painting sandy ...one to the right feels right ........ i've only experimented a little with gesso on watercolour paper and mount board yet to try YUPO ... looks fun .

Costescu said...

for me the top painting feels more calming and the bottom, like it is a struggle to get up the falls so I guess it depends what feel you are going for as to which you prefer ;)

Very interesting using a gloss medium on paper for watercolor...you have piqued my interest as well :) Do you then either frame the painting under glass or seal with an isolation coat? very cool textures!

Deb L├ęger said...

Mmmmmm more colours that reach out and grab me! Beautiful painting, Sandy! I've got a sheet of w/c paper already taped to a board with three coats of gesso on it. It's been sitting against my studio wall for about six months or so. You're inspiring me to paint on it. :-) I sure wish you'd do a dvd so that those unfortunate souls like myself, who cannot get to your workshops, could see you that way. Hint. Hint.

Nick said...

I guess you're right about the direction....unless you're a salmon, heh. And an impressive one it is, has some of that Cheng Khee Chee look. You are a wizard with the plastic sheet!

Sandy Maudlin said...

Thanks for the comments. This one was matted and framed under glass after being lightly sprayed with a fixative. The paint lifted off easily on the gloss medium, though it did leave a faint ghostly image at times where staining colors had been used.

Chee uses this process to create his beautiful Chinese landscapes. Good call, Nick.

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Cathy said...

I much prefer the first version you show! ... I still haven't found any YUPO to try... sigh...

Julie Broom said...

Thanks for sharing this, Sandy. The effect of the gloss medium is breathtaking.

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Anonymous said...

You know there a lot of folks out here who love your work, styles and techniques. There are too many of us that cannot get to a workshop and would dearly live to study with you. So how about some DVD's? I don't think I've seen that you have any, so I'm sure that there would be a following out here for your Demo DVD's. I'd love to see how you do things and be able to try them out when I have the time and not in a crowded workshop situation. You on a DVD would like having you in my studio and a one-on-one lesson, to watch and try over and over again. I know that you have a very busy schedule and that doing a DVD takes time and prep time, but you are so good at prep time. And more than that you are a wonderful and talented artist and a very fine instructor. Think about it. And those of you who are fans of Sandy's and have been fortunate enough to take her workshop, wouldn't you like to have her in your home, in more ways than one? Let's hear from you. Thanks, Sandy, for being you and sharing your wonderful world with us. Rae