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.
YOU SHOULD KNOW A FEW BASICS:
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- You can easily wipe out anything you don’t like.
- 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.
GOT YOUR SKATES ON? LET’S GO!
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.
YOU WILL NEED:
- Paints of some type
- Big soft brush
- Fun stuff for texture: anything…wax paper, saran, cheesecloth, lace, stamps and on and on.
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!
- Stroke on color – use more than one, side by side.
- See what they do. Do they run into each other? You can tip the paper a bit to run them, if you wish.
- Wipe out a bit with a Kleenex. See how you can wipe it clean so easily? Now stroke color back into the white place.
- You can either play around and then just leave it to dry as in SAMPLE A. OR
- 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.
- It’s also fun to try a spray of alcohol onto a piece that is just beginning to dry a bit.
- 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.
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
The website is: www.heartofohiotole.org
Here’s what I’m teaching there.
I haven’t heard of YUPO, sounds really cool and a challenge as well (the whole finger print issue). I am going to look at Hobby Lobby when I’m in town next, if none there will order from one of the stores you mention! Thanks for bringing a new product to light for me!
Can’t wait to try this new paper. Wish I was going to Hoot! I love this piece. Lucky participants. Will you have pattern on your site after the convention? Have fun, Kathy.
Maybe eventually. I hadn’t thought about it! Now I will.
Hi! I saw a demonstration about Yuppo at an art guild that I belong to a couple of years ago. But….I have never tried it. I believe she used acrylics. I don’t recall her using a pattern, she did a lot of pouring on the paint [from large bottles of liquid acrylic and then moving it around by tipping the paper and letting it run into the adjacent paints. I can’t recall if she used a brush at any time, but she may have. I do remember how messy it was, she had a drop cloth on the floor to catch runoff paint. That is probably why I never tried it. No place at home to deal with the mess. I thought the finished painting was lovely though. It would be helpful to see a video of you teaching the technique that you use :]
Hmmm…..a video, heh? Perhaps I can do a short something for everyone later on in the year. An entire project perhaps. Thanks for the idea, Beth.
Wow, cant wait to try Yupo. Thanks for the information. You are the best.
I too want to try this technique. Will have to add YUPO to my list to order. Always fun to try something new. Thanks for encouraging us always!
Will HOOT irises be in watercolor or acrylic? See you at HOOT! Yuppo sounds so interesting.
Kathy Knauf are you going to be in my HOOT class? Woo-hoooooo! Get ready for a big hug.
That class will be watercolor, but don’t worry. It will be okay. No need for heavy drugs. ha.
Ice skating is probably the best description I’ve heard of what it’s like to paint on Yupo! It’s very good to just play with color and texture without the pressure of creating a framed masterpiece.
A woman in my art class where I live uses it all the time her paintings are lovely so will watch over her shoulder and with your info I will be ready to try!
Thank you for sharing this new art project. Love the beautiful iris project. Wish I was there, also! Stay cool in Houston.
Would love to try this! How wonderful and kind that you freely continue to share your experiences, education and techniques. A “big” thank you!!
I have used Yupo in the past with watercolor. If you tend to be overly “controlling” in your watercolor techniques, Yupo gives you a good vehicle to loosen up with. Follow Kathie’s directions, and if you limit the water, you won’t need a dropcloth. One way to do this would be to use either pan watercolor paints, or the technique Kathie described for overseas travel. You fill up the wells of your watercolor pallette, let the paints dry, then use it like you would use pan colors. This dryer technique will require more brush strokes. One interesting thing about Yupo is that you can put down a lot of sloppy paint colors (more water). Let it dry. Then come back with damp cotton swabs and make your drawing or painting by removing the background to reveal the white of the Yupo. This would be a sort of “negative negative” painting approach I guess.
I like how you are very positive about your negatives. Thanks so much for the tips!
This is so timely! I bought some Yupo last fall, and frankly forgot about it. I had no idea how to handle it, so thanks for the great tutorial. I can’t wait to play with now. Looks so free and fun!
I’ve seen this product in the art online stores but never had the confidence in myself to try it but, now with your help and excitement for the product I will order some. I too think a looong video would help. I would even buy one from you and I love the Iris pattern would buy that too if and when it comes available. Thanks so much for all your kindness in giving of your knowledge.
I “painted” on Yupo with alcohol inks. It is tricky but fun! Love the iris painting!
Congratulations! I saw your beautiful painting in Splash 15!
Thanks Vicki! There are three, actually…..it’s like ‘where’s Waldo’.
Aren’t you a wonderful teacher? You share your knowledge and go above and beyond anything I have ever experienced with any other teacher. I have always respected anyone willing to share knowledge and then, information they have learned from their own mistakes. And I really admire anyone who says, “I don’t know, but let’s find that anwer together.” Now don’t go all big headed on me. I love you Miss Kathie. Wish I could go to Hoot. Have fun fun fun.
Oh Martha….you make me blush. xo
I’m looking forward to playing with the yupo paper myself untill you get here this Nov. Can’t wait to do this with you. I agree that you are awesome with your willingness to share. Thanks for all the inspiration and encouragement.
Kathy—–Thank you for making it so much FUN. You are a gifted teacher. Can’t wait to try it… today!!! I love the endless possibilities of items to use for texture. And… the clear crisp colors of the iris painting….. beautiful. Inspired.
Woohoo! I’m so excited:) I just bought Yupo for the first time yesterday and I was a bit afraid to use it. I can’t wait for more info. I love acrylic/alcohol inks but want a change from canvas. Thank you!
I’m looking forward to your lessons on Yupo. I experimented with it several years ago and made a few things but then went onto something else since I didn’t have any formal instruction with its use. I loved the brilliance of the colors! I used both watercolors and alcohol inks. It was a slow process with they drying but I loved the results. Maybe you have come up with something different to use the results????!!!! Thanks Kathie for sharing all your knowledge and experiments! Pat
If I successful paint on this product, how do I frame it? Should it be under glass? I started a project with this and now have incentive to finish it! I really enjoyed your class in Houston with the tea cups. HOOT is lucky to be getting you! 🙂
Hi Sue, yes definitely DO frame it underglass to protect it. Or you might even spray it with Krylon Matte (or gloss, depending on your preference) Medium to protect it. Then you wouldn’t necessarily have to frame under glass.