I really enjoy working on Yupo paper, a paper that I believe is made from some kind of plastic. Whatever it’s made of, it’s synthetic paper that is waterproof. So oddly enough, a lot of watercolor painters use it.
It’s not at all permeable and the paint or anything else just slides across it. Pens do not work on it very well at all, but paint does. The paper can be stained, but nothing sinks into it. For that reason, any painting done on Yupo paper is at higher risk of being smeared. Just picking it up and putting your fingers on it can remove or smear the paint if you are not careful. However, I like Yupo because the paint slides around on it and can make some very interesting and smooth wash and blending effects.
Painting on Yupo creates a lot of weird, unexpected results. The way to not “fight” with the paper is to allow these effects to remain and use them, not planning too hard what the finished painting will look like until you are half or even nearly done with it. It’s a great media for expressive or abstract paintings because you will get that type of result, usually, whether you try to or not. I admit it’s not an easy paper to use. It’s not really even paper. By not fighting what the paper does and not expecting it to act like watercolor paper, you will have better results. Yupo is also especially good paper for when you want really bright stunning colors, and when you use mixed media.
The painting above is my latest with watercolor on Yupo. It’s based on an idea of people going from the present, a cooler climate, to the future, a warmer (orange) climate. But since the people are not obvious they could be going any direction, so I need to use the title to direct viewers to know what in the world this painting is about. The title is “Entering a New World.”
It is watercolor on YUPO and approximately 22″ x 30″. ($700)