Art at Work: Yupo Paper
Today I bring you the first of many “Art At Work” posts! Today we’re talking about a totally awesome product: Yupo Paper.
Yupo is a brand that totally reinvents paper as we know it. It’s synthetic and acts more like super lush plastic than typical fiber based paper. It is mainly used in print media and I’m sure it is super fantastic in that form… but I’m pretty sure the best way you can use Yupo paper (the way it wants to be used) is with good old watercolor paints!
I created a mini series of floral paintings to demonstrate the awesomeness of this paper. I completely LOVE the water effects within these paintings. This paper is also surprisingly delightful to draw on. Ink and graphite glide across it effortlessly (but not in that slippery might-lose-your-grip-on-the-pen kind of way).
Tips for painting on Yupo paper
1. Plan on painting a very “loose” painting. This paper is practically plastic. It doesn’t absorb the water at all, so the pigments sort of swim until the water evaporates. Because of this it can be tricky to paint precise details.
2. Do NOT touch the paper. Seriously. If any oil comes into contact with the paper that little area is pretty much completely replant to the water. Most watercolor paper is pretty easy-going about fingers and oils, but not Yupo! It’s a good idea to wash your hands frequently and use a paper towel to rest your hand on while working.
3. Wash the paper before you start working. Just a little soap and a lot of water and you’re golden! Unless you bought it factory sealed, it has probably been touched a few too many times.
4. Bold colors are extra brilliant on Yupo paper because none of the pigment sink into the paper. So lovely.
5. Take your time! Seriously. Most watercolor paintings are fairly fast processes. But you have to remember that Yupo paper doesn’t absorb any of the water, so evaporation is the only way to go. You may want to use a hair dryer set on low to speed along the drying time. But be gentle. The water can easily be blown away! During the drying process the most amazing water effects will start to take place as the pigment clings to the paper and the water evaporates. It’s pretty awesome and well worth the wait.
6. Make a mistake? No problem! You can pretty much completely erase mistakes with a little water and a clean paper towel! Use a little soap if your desperate. So convenient, let me tell you!
Have you ever used Yupo paper before? What was the most challenging and/or rewarding part of the process for you?
Enjoy! This is going to be such a fun project and I can’t wait to see what you create! If you have any questions, just ask below. I’ll do my best to answer asap.