I love experimenting. Experiments, by there very nature cannot fail. If you prove something works – Yeah! Your experiment was successful. If you prove something does not work — Double yeah! You experiment was also successful in proving what does not work. Experiments only fail if you don’t learn anything. It’s like a scientifically based play date.
With that attitude, I approached my first experiment with watercolors and Yupo paper – a totally waterproof polypropalyne based “paper”. The paint does not sink into the paper, it floats on top. Colors mix in unusual ways. They don’t fade as they dry. If you don’t like a section, wipe it completely off with a cotton swab or a damp tissue.
Of course, where you are playing, you don’t want to use your best supplies, so I pulled out the tubes of watercolor gouche I found for just a few bucks at Home Goods. (always check out there stationary section for cheap art supplies). Of course, since it was gouche, I expected that the colors would be opaque so you wouldn’t see as much of the gentle color mixing you can find on more pastel translucent colors.
In fact, my first experiment with mixing, I created a lovely painting that more than slightly resembled a cross section of the liver of some alien species.
I did learn how to remove paint and create texture with balled up toilet paper. It was also easy to direct and move colors where I wanted them to be.
Adding more black into the middle, I was able to pull out lines of black with a small brush.
I love how the light looks when the paint is still floating on the surface of the paper.
Of course, when I was done, I was tempted to put the successful experiment right into the trash bin, The I remember that Yupo is waterproof. A few minutes at the sink with some soap, and I have a fresh surface for my next experiment. Next time, I think I’ll use regular watercolors and not gouche. I’ll also think I’ll try a landscape that might be more amenable to the yupo restrictions .
But Until I can do a better job of showing you the best that Yopo paper can help create, here is a lovely watercolor on Yupo by a very talented artist. Now find some Yupo paper, and paint, drip, roll, smush, and generally have fun. Then wash it off and start all over again.