We win some and we loose some, but when working on YUPO, there are more options to try before we have to call it "Quits." This first photo shows the results of my demo this past Wednesday for the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society.

My focus was to explain the importance of patterns of darks and lights as well as demonstrate many of the possibilities of applying Fluid Acrylic paint to YUPO. We all had a good time, and a dozen or so stayed after the demo for a two hour mini workshop to experiment with using the Fluid Acrylics on the YUPO.

The next morning, with brush in hand, as well as a squeegee, I worked on the demo painting. At one point, it seemed like a good idea to switch the painting to a fall foliage atmosphere, as you can see here in the second photo. (The 'cool' strip on the right hand side was mostly warm but photographed cooler for some reason.)

Adding the distant tress caused the painting to look way overworked and much too haphazard and busy. They were added to help balance the busy-ness of the foreground grasses. Bad idea. And the colors look too much like the 'avocado' olive greens and 'harvest gold' oranges of the late 60's.

Alcohol to the rescue! No, not to drink, but to remove the mess on the YUPO paper. Again, the bluish cast is not accurate, but it's now very white from one side to the other where the paint was lifted.

Working on YUPO offers SO MANY options when working with the Fluid Acrylics. Mistakes can easily be corrected, lifted, covered, etc. The textures and edges that result when lifting the paint with alcohol lend a wonderful surprise to the surface too.

This is where the painting is now...but maybe it'll change again. The colors are still warm dominance, as planned, but the season seems more springlike. Possibly some of the grasses could have purple or white Japanese iris blooms atop them in hopes of adding more to the springtime atmosphere???

The journey to create is so much fun, so fulfilling and exciting, that even when the results aren't nearly as special as expected, it's still all totally worth it. Some paintings, maybe this one, need to be in the "CALLING IT QUITS" drawer, but they serve as experience for the next possible masterpiece.....hopefully:-)

"SPRINGTIME CHANGES THINGS" Fluid Acrylics and Caran d'Ache Crayons on Medium Weight YUPO 26 x 20"



Tomorrow morning brings me the special opportunity of painting a demo for the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society. I'll be presenting many of the possibilities of how to create watercolor-looking paintings using Fluid Acrylics on Yupo.

This 20x26" sketch on medium weight YUPO has nearly turned into a very large value study but shows my subject matter for the morning. The drawing and values have been done with a regular DERWENT watercolor pencil to help the artists see how the painting's pattern will be established with lights, mediums, and darks.

The pencil was a light gray blue color (though the color didn't photograph right,) and my intent was to show 4 to 5 values throughout the painting, using the w/c pencil. All I'll have to do is fill in the appropriate areas with colors of the right values with fluid acrylics. The watercolor pencil will almost completely dissolve when brushed over twice with paint, but if some remains, it could add textural interest to the painting. We'll see...

In the afternoon after critiques, everyone who stays will be experimenting with the fluid acrylics on YUPO using lots of fun tools. YUPO and fluid acrylics are presently my favorites for creating paintings.

There are two large 26x40" YUPO/Fluid Acrylic paintings in progress in my studio right now, which is unusual for me. Normally I must finish one painting before ever starting another. However, for some reason (unknown to me,) I have 9 different paintings, all works in progress, laying around in the studio. How did that happen? It actually seems like a lot of fun to have so many possibilities to choose from each day. And it's sure keeping me busy and, somehow, staying focused hasn't been a bit of a problem!

Sunday while I was painting, we enjoyed the treat of seeing some wonderful feathered visitors up close. Betsy, Marianne, and I saw not just one, but THREE pileated woodpeckers outside the studio on or perched near the suet feeders at the same time. Incredible for such a shy bird! They are marked so beautifully, and they are SO big. It looked like Mama. Papa, and Baby... though baby was nearly as big as Mama. Wish everyone could have seen them.

Watch for the finished painting soon, along with the other nine eventually, I hope.



Here's another '20 minute' challenge painting, showing the finished painting, along with the actual scene in front of me, as well as how my painting area was set up. The apple by my painting supplies is my timer. Before Setting the timer for 20 minutes, I make sure that everything is ready to go and that I am focused and intent on the subject at hand.

The paper was a 5x7" piece of Strathmore Aquarius II that had previously been 'textured' using another process. The existing textures seemed to lend themselves to a snowy scene, but there was no pure white left on the 5x7" paper. Therefore, some white watercolor paint was touched into some snowy areas to help push the contrasts of values a bit. Using it in several small places helped it look like it was meant to be and not just a correction.

My inspiration was the effect of warm golden brown leaves hanging on the oak tree, surrounded by the cold of a February winter day. After finishing it, my thoughts were that just the tree and a couple of birds would have made a much more interesting painting. It's such a challenge to leave out what's not important. Seems like whatever we see, we often feel the need to put in the painting. A wise person said --- don't let what you see dictate what you paint! Great advice.