Until I saw an actual live Bird of Paradise flower blooming in Maui, I had no idea why people thought they were so neat. WHEW! The striking vibrant colors and unique flower structure are breathtaking for sure. Any time a watercolor painting calls for vibrant color, I consider YUPO paper first.

Although I can easily lift paint on YUPO, even after it's dry, I often choose to miskit areas that are to remain a pure white or pure light color. Here, the warm yellow and orange areas were miskited first before I applied liberal amounts of juicy blues and greens for the background. Even the edges of some of the foreground leaves were miskited to help maintain sharpness and clarity. Once the color was on and allowed to flow, I added darks into areas by charging them in rather than brushing them over the area.

The more I can get the paints to move together on their own without help from a brush, the fresher the YUPO painting looks. This also helps encourage the possibility of spontaneous accidents that can add great life and excitement to a picture. I suppose that the hardest part of painting on YUPO for me is to keep my brush out of the paint as much as possible.

If you're a watercolorist and have not yet tried YUPO 'paper,' make it your resolution to give it a try soon. If the painting doesn't work like you hoped, wash off the paint and go again and again and again.

"PARADISE" Transparent Watercolor on Heavyweight YUPO, approx. 17 x 13" SOLD



What a treat to welcome in another new year. Last night was spent painting a still life (with lots of people watching) until midnight, finishing it after the new year arrived, then soaking in my brother's hot tub with a wonderful view of fireworks and stars over the city of Austin, Texas. It was a great evening. Today will be art lessons, probably capped off by another hour or so in the hot tub tonight.

This painting was done several years ago using normal watercolor techniques (if there are any 'normal' ones.) He was dressed for a parade when Dave took his picture and must be quite a character. I hoped to make the viewer hear music when looking at the painting.

Have a happy new year and be sure to include in your resolutions to try, each month, at least ONE NEW THING that you've never tried before. Enjoy.

"MUSIC MAN" Transparent Watercolor on 140# CP Arches, 15 x 22"



This painting started out with an overall wash on white gessoed paper, creating a medium to medium light value of randomly placed colors over the whole sheet. After the paint dried, I lightly sketched in the subject matter, then lifted off the lighter areas. Darks were added as needed, but almost half of the painting remained untouched, leaving the original color wash in place.

Don Getz demonstrated this technique several years ago at the Cincinnati Art Club, and his works literally glows when he works like this on gesso. Watercolor painted on top of gesso always results in fabulous textures and vivid colors, and the nice part is that the paint will lift off easily in most areas. (Until YUPO came along, I painted on gessoed watercolor paper a lot. Next month I'll be doing a demo on YUPO at the Cincinnati Art Club, but I have not selected a subject yet.)

Painting on both YUPO and gessoed paper is like making new year's resolutions. If you don't like how it's going (the past year,) you can wipe it off and start fresh (like our new year's resolutions.) May all your resolutions for the new year result in positive, creative growth in your life!

"AHOY" Transparent Watercolor on Arches 140# CP covered with gesso, 14 x 21"



It's hard to know how much to say in a painting, and it's so easy for me to overdo it. But this painting seems unfinished, possibly needing a little more detail or color, but where?

This was my class demo a couple of weeks ago, incorporating the lifting method taught by Cheng Khee Chee. I've been looking at it, tempted to fool with it, but afraid that I'll paint one stroke too many. The leaves look a little wimpy, and I also don't like the small iris in the lower part of the background on the far left. Maybe it needs to be faintly repeated. Maybe I should crop the painting. Any suggestions or ideas would be appreciated.

Painted on Fabriano Artistico 140# 22 x 15" and not yet titled.