Personal Art Blog

Sharing the lessons I teach at the Artist Guild and the personal discoveries in my art.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Yupo Landscape

Yupo Landscape


My husband and I made a
quick trip to Phoenix - 
nice cool Phoenix-
 (record breaking temps)
to attend a funeral this weekend
and this kept me totally
occupied in the car. 
It is weird, I cannot read 
in the car, but I can paint.
The trip takes over six hours
each way,
and as you probably know,
the beauty of Yupo 
is I can paint - wipe it off
and paint again

It went through several incarnations
and I still consider it unfinished.

I was never trying to make a
painting, but just exploring 
the different mark making 
Yupo allows
I was working from memory
 of an area I had plein
painted earlier in the week 
so I was free to concentrate
on the technique.

I did discover some pigments
will stain Yupo.
Even thick applications of
paint will lift off 
topping over with 
another layer, and 
pooling color within 
boundaries is basically the
 only way to get a smooth wash.

I saw this fabulous post by
Jill Golden on alcohol inks
using yupo. It showed 
all her student's work
and they were great.
Her blog is
 see link here Jill Rae
I was intrigued
by the wonderful appearance 
of alcohol ink on Yupo. 
Jill definitely has 
the heart of a teacher and 
she generously
sent me a couple of links
on her youtube demos
see below.

Thank you, Jill.
They look fun,
I am going to give them a go...
but NOT in the car!


  1. Seems I read somewhere about the longevity of a painting on Yupo is quite diminished...or at least this point. I haven't a clue; any idea? Love this piece - so pretty! I like the sound of inks and alcohol on Yupo so got to go take a look!

    1. I have checked also into longevity and plastic will last much longer than paper which is unfortunate, Plastic is non-degradable.I do think the paint will lift off easily so making sure it is securely fixed it very important. I waxed a painting and left it in water overnight and it was fine next day so I trust that method.
      The inks on Yupo are like stained glass - beautiful transparent colors. Hope you try.

  2. Just keep right on going! Yupo is such a slick surface; so challenging. I know you will keep trying until you get exactly what you want!

    In the meantime, I like those results at top a lot. There is a variety of density that really interests me-hard to explain but I can "feel" the weight and texture of that grass. Lovely work as always:)

    1. Hi Libby - thanks for a great comment... warm glow!
      I think you raised a couple of important points in your new post.
      I think we alal can relate.

  3. This is beautiful Julie!!! You captured the reflections so beautifully using yupo. And painting in a car! Wow! Very impressive!!

    1. Hi Hilda - thanks friend.
      it is exciting to think of trying the alcohol inks. They look like beautiful stained glass pieces.

  4. I still can't imagine working on yupo while you ride in the car. lol This is beautiful!!! Maybe it will inspire me to get out my yupo again.

    1. You know what they say...if at first you don't succeed ...hope you try. You can use a permanent line just like in your sketches.

  5. I forgot to say thanks for the links to the alcohol inks on yupo.

  6. Julie I know you say this is not finished but it certainly looks like it could be. Amazing you can paint in the car. I would be hanging my head out the window for sure. Been hearing about these alcohol inks. Going to check out your links. Thanks so much for sharing. Have a lovely day.

    1. I agree it looks finished but I have a different thing I want to try in the water.
      Loved your post, Dog Days... the pics are great.
      Thanks for the visit, friend.

  7. Interesting and inspiring video, Julie. So many wonderful little time!
    Your painting is beautiful as it stands, but I bet you'll add a "pièce de résistance" that will complete it beautifully.
    P.S. Don't you love Phoenix in the summer?! Not!!

    1. LOL at your P.S. OMG it was HOT! Thanks for the comment and vote of confidence.
      How are your experiments going?

  8. Wow Julie, it looks amazing and looks like it was painted from life. You have a wonderful memory! Thanks for sharing the link, I am off to check it out.

    1. Thanks for the visit, Celia. my visual memory doesn't have to be perfect...just enough to recreate some of what I "felt" about a scene. Do you ever do that?
      Love your roses and the way you handled the red. I have trouble making the light areas glow in a deep red. good for you!

  9. yeah ink and the car are not a good mix, unless you want colourful seats ;)

    1. Thanks for the visit jennifer. I enjoyed seeing your drawing of the teeth mold. What a kick!

  10. Hats off to you for doing these amazing Yupo paintings, Julie. I have never graduated beyond abstract-y landscapes on this slick surface. This painting has your signature magical glow. Another beauty!!

    1. I enjoy doing the abstract but they seem to be too easy to appreciate which shows me I am being too simple. Almost like a jigsaw puzzle with shapes and color.
      I didnt realize my work has a signature glow. How nice - thank you, Chris.
      Is it hot enough for you at the moment!!!

  11. One of the best things that we as artists do is explore. I wish I gave it more time. It is definitely on my to do list. Can I get my oils light enough to act like watercolors. I will explore!

    1. I think that is so true, Helen. Libby has a great post on understanding some of the process.
      I tried oil on the Yupo but oil has to have a more of a porous surface or it will flake off. Not sure if that is true or not. Anyone know?

  12. that is so fabulous....done from memory in the car! wow! beautiful color....just excellent!

    1. I think it was Degas who said -"It is all very well to copy what one sees, but it is far better to draw what one now only sees in one's memory. That is a transformation in which imagination collaborates with memory."
      I have worked on my visual memory retention since art school.
      Your male figure is fabulous. I especially love his shoe color next to the jeans.

  13. Wow painting in the car. I take my hat off with respect to your talent. Beautiful work.

    1. Hi Laura - this is only done while freeway driving. We have hundreds of miles of smooth roads out here. Some of the little bumps can add a bit of fun to it.
      I admire you getting out on the streets of London to sketch. What a fabulous group - Urban Sketchers! I love seeing what you do. Your last post with everyones work was a great post. thank you.

    2. Thanks for your kind words Julie. Much appreciated.

  14. Incredible that you painted this from our memory and in a moving car, it is a spot on Julie!I have never tried Yupo. Does the finished painting need glass to protect?

    1. Visual memory training started in art school in England, Padmaja. It has been very handy.
      I wax my Yupo paintings with Renaissance Wax. It hardens very quickly so - no - no glass is needed.

  15. Julie,
    Thanks for mentioning me and my blog. I definitely had a lot of visitors yesterday. Thanks everyone who came and took a look. If you have an questions please let me know.

    What you do with Yupo is incredible. Stunning work.

    1. Hi Jill. Glad you had visits. Yours and your workshop student's results were worth seeing.
      I will be in touch if I have questions for sure. that is very nice of you, Jill.

  16. I've only used Yupo once and found it slippery. It takes some getting used to. I'm not sure I want to put in the time. At some point I think enough with experimenting with new materials and better to put in more time using the ones you're familiar with and hon drawing and painting skills. our love for seeing how this works with that can be distracting. I think I should sit on that urge to explore new materials and concentrate on the materials I know best.

    Love the car painting and would like to know what's in your travel painting kit. Working with oils in a car seems hazardous to the car.

    1. My set up - a lap tray- one with the cushion under it so it doesn't slide off- a small plein air box from Guerrilla and the small Windsor Newton travel watercolor box. I use plastic lids to mix colors in. I have painted in oils and watercolors and never spilled a drop!
      Driving out west means less traffic and less of a chance of sudden stops.
      I draw in the car in busier locations using the watercolor sticks. Try and make something out of them at home.
      Regarding your thoughts on experimenting...good point and valid for you, but for me... its in my nature!
      So happy to know you are recovering so well from your ordeal, Linda. You have a great attitude.

  17. I'm convinced you can paint anytime, anywhere. Wow, lovely painting and using a very difficult method. Once again, very inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

  18. Nice painting on yupo. I once tried it, and although it was fun to play with colors on it, I think it is too slippery for me. But who knows maybe if I read more postive about it from your experimenting, I will be encouraged to try it again. So I'll wait for more stories of yupo. By the way, thank you for visiting my blog, and sorry I could not always visit here as often as I would like to, at least for the time being.


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