Ink on Yupo with Masking Layers

I was organizing some stuff in the studio the other day and ran across a pile of 11" X 17" "xerox" copies that I made thinking I would use them for Pronto prints or paper lithography prints. My last attempt at the paper litho didn't go particularly well, so the project had been abandoned.

I decided that these images might be a good basis for some alcohol ink on Yupo artwork.

I knew that I wanted to use a LOT of masking fluid (I use Miskit) in a new abstract way and that I wanted a turquoise background when I was finished. For this new method, I decided that pink would be a nice contrast to the turquoise, so I painted the whole background in pink. I think I added some shadow gray as well...and perhaps some purple.

I let this dry.

I then took a 1/2" brush and applied the masking fluid (Miskit) to my favorite pink areas and added a lot of splatters and dots.

I let this dry.

Then, I held the painting vertically (over paper towels and trash can) and used my spray bottle of 91% alcohol to splotch and rinse the pink from the unmasked areas.

I let this dry.

Then I began painting the actual images inspired by the photocopy. I used both a round brush and a fan brush and the droppers of course. Because the Yupo was more opaque than I thought it would be, I used a light box in a dark room to see the image through the Yupo. I could have drawn the image first, but for this particular piece, I decided that I didn't want pencil lines. Below is the painting with the masking liquid (Misket) still in place, but the main imagery painted.

I let this dry. It takes longer for the ink to dry on top of the masking fluid. (If you are not patient, ink that is still sticky will make a mess in the next step.)

I was very pleased at this point. I almost wished I could ignore the masking fluid and call it done, but I was also very curious what it would look like removed, so I started taking it off. Dried masking fluid sticks to itself, so you just sort of make a ball as you go. Some bits are stubborn and the Yupo tends to release ink if rubbed more than some other surfaces, so try to touch only the masking fluid, unless you like the scrubby look below.

As you can see, the masking fluid also lifted some of the pink ink. I found that using a gentle touch and not re-daubing, I could keep from lifting as much.

Some of my darker areas and some of the yellow flower bits were painted over the masking fluid and were lifted away, so I then went back in and repainted. I also worked in some straight extender and some diluted inks to add some rhythm to the dense area.

Here is the finished piece:

(Scheduled for Cross-posting on AI Art Blog)


"Hidden" Paintings

This morning, one of the trending stories online was about "Pablo Picasso hidden portrait found beneath famous painting 'The Blue Room'". I clicked over to read the accompanying article and I began to think about what Picasso would think about the ability of art conservators to "find" these painted over canvases...Would he be mad that a portrait he did not care to keep is now being revealed?

Artists paint over some of their paintings. Some artists use a single canvas MANY times before ending up with a painting that they deem good enough to exhibit or sell. We may not be Picasso, but would we want these paintings revealed to the public? I tend to think we would not.

The act of painting over a painting can be a bit sad, but is often cathartic as well. It gives you a clean slate to begin again. The thought that the first painting is "still there" is quite a strange concept to think about. I paint over a canvas on occasion. In my case, I often do this because I hate to waste anything or throw away anything that could be reused or repurposed. Will my thoughts on this subject change this practice? Perhaps stretching new canvas on the old stretchers will be a more desirable method in the future.

What are your thoughts on uncovering paintings that an artist has deliberately covered up? Fascinating? Invasion of privacy? Cost of fame?


Monthly News in Your Inbox

Back in February, I started publishing a monthly newsletter. It has been a nice way to keep track of what is going on in my art life thirty days at a time. If you missed them, here are the links:






I hope you enjoy them. If you would like to sign-up to get my July and future newsletters, you can easily sign up HERE or click "subscribe" in the top left corner of the previous monthly newsletters.


The Complete Deck; My Playing Cards

I've been looking for creative products that feature my artwork that might appeal to those who have limited wall space or want to be supportive of my art without shelling out hundreds of dollars for an original. My deck of playing cards may be my favorite product thus far. It features 54 pieces of artwork that I created from 2006-2013, and I titled it Vol. I. I plan to produce volume II in December. I only have a few decks left. They are $18 and shipping is included. Click here to purchase on of the remaining decks.