20" x 26", watercolour on Yupo, 2009
Ever since I started painting, I looked at my watercolour palette and was fascinated by the strange and interesting ways the colours would dry on its plastic surface. Some time later, I saw a display for Yupo synthetic "paper" in an art store that someone had painted on with some watercolours --not an image, really, but abstract colour mixing which looked a lot like my palette. Interest piqued, I bought a few sheets and tried one out immediately.
The results were interesting but, as I expected, there was a bit of a struggle getting the paint to do what I wanted --or at least what I was used to with regular watercolour paper. The biggest difference is that regular watercolour paper is absorbent and Yupo is not, so I had to come up with a new way of painting. The results are strange and fantastic, yet still watercolour-y, and I love how my brushes glide over the smooth surface like skates on ice so, a few years after my first attempt, I recently went back into the studio with some aching-to-be-used photo ref and resumed experimentation with the Yupo.
I knew it would be hard to control, so I accepted the chaos and had fun. After a few paintings, I was really starting to loosen up (something this paper encourages, if not enforces) and this car painting set the standard of how I like and need to paint on this surface.