You’ve heard of it. YUPO, the synthetic machine – made-in-the-USA paper that is 100% polypropylene. It is waterproof, stain resistant and extremely strong and durable.

But how in the heck do you paint on it? Come along for your very first ice-skating lesson.

Before we get out on the ice and have your first lesson, let’s chat about this new surface. All of the things you’ve heard about it are probably true! But that’s also what makes it a fun, very forgiving surface. How about if I lead you around the rink once and you decide for yourself.


  1. Avoid using hand lotions. Even your fingers without lotion can leave a print and create a resist on the paper. I usually wipe the paper off with a bit of alcohol or soapy water before I paint on it. However, fingerprints can still show up. Just scrub them a bit with the heel of your brush and they’ll go away. So far, so good, yes?
  2. Erasers can also create a resist, so you can use a watercolor pencil to apply the design. Personally, I like to use a pencil because it stays and I can see it thru the paint…but I work out my design on another piece of paper and transfer it to the Yupo so I don’t have to erase.
  3. Yupo is made from plastic, so it is a totally nonabsorbent surface. This means the paint sits on top and dries by evaporation only. This is the reason colors are more vibrant on Yupo. Use MUCH LESS water than you do with regular watercolor paper.
  4. You can paint over this first wash when it’s dried, but know this: One stroke works, two strokes will lift the color down to the white paper. So, single side-by-side strokes with little pressure and a soft brush work best.
  5. You can easily wipe out anything you don’t like.
  6. You can buy tablets or full sheets. A tablet is good for experimenting. Can get it at all big online art stores. Dick Blick, Jerry’s, etc.


Just about any media can be used with Yupo: watercolor, watercolor pencils, water-soluble oil , regular oil, pastels, Markers, Acrylics, Alchohol Inks, Ink Pens and other drawing devices, to name a few. Each one reacts differently and it’s fun to experiment

One thing I can tell you is that Watercolor is almost too easily removed (for me) on Yupo. I’ve come to prefer acrylic or alcohol inks. All can be removed, but to a different degree and with a different look.

Yupo will take on the ‘look’ of anything that you lay on it when the paint is wet. Ready to try it? Do you remember how to remove a fingerprint if you see one (above)? If you’ve been handling your Yupo a lot, you might want to wipe it with alcohol or gently wipe it with soap and water…be sure to get ALL the soap off. Soap is another cool technique.


  • Paints of some type
  • Kleenex
  • Big soft brush
  • Alcohol
  • Fun stuff for texture: anything…wax paper, saran, cheesecloth, lace, stamps and on and on.

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Remember, use a brush that’s mostly full of paint, not too much water. No big, loose, watery washes, please! What the heck, you’re practicing and you’ll see what happens – so just go for it and have fun!

  1. Stroke on color – use more than one, side by side.
  2. See what they do. Do they run into each other? You can tip the paper a bit to run them, if you wish.
  3. Wipe out a bit with a Kleenex. See how you can wipe it clean so easily? Now stroke color back into the white place.
  4. You can either play around and then just leave it to dry as in SAMPLE A. OR
  5. You can put on some paint, lay a bunch of texture items on top and let it dry – totally dry- then remove them. This is what I did in SAMPLE B.
  6. It’s also fun to try a spray of alcohol onto a piece that is just beginning to dry a bit.
  7. REMEMBER, you can just wipe it all off and start over again if you want to. Staining colors may stain the paper a bit, but for the most part all of it will come off.

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So, go for it! Have a blast and create some cool little pieces. Then take your skates off and relax until next week…come back again and I’ll show you something you can do with these pieces! So, hang on to them.

See you next week. Can’t wait to tell you what I have planned for August.
Anyway, see you next week.
Kathie xo

P.S. – I will be teaching a class at the HOOT convention in Columbus, Ohio. They’ve added a second class that I believe may still have some spots open.
If you are interested, contact them at:
The website is:
Here’s what I’m teaching there.


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