Over the weekend I viewed a CD by George James on painting watercolors on a unique surface: "Mastering Yupo: Techniques for Synthetic Paper" (Creative Catalyst Productions). Many of the paintings I've seen since Yupo first came in use rely on the erratic flow of watercolor on the slippery surface. Most of the artists who use it praise the capability of wiping back to the white surface, something difficult to do with watercolor on paper. James takes the technique to a new level by using thick layers of paint and blotting with facial tissue or smoothing with a sponge roller. He demonstrates a great variety of textures and techniques and explains them clearly in a laid-back manner. At one point he mentions that he uses cheap paint so he can lay down a heavy wash, but he doesn't name brands. His method retains the brilliance of the pure colors, since he doesn't use much water in the process. The end result of his abstract demo was a good representation of his many techniques. A gallery of his works shown after the demo reveal James to be an accomplished designer, especially with figures. His work is solid and not speckely like Yupo paintings become when artists struggle to get color down without lifting the washes beneath.
I recommend this video for anyone interested in experimenting with Yupo.
Labels: demonstration, watercolor techniques, yupo