Friday, April 1, 2011

The Wonders of Yupo

As an artist, it's fun getting to experiment with new kinds of paper, and yesterday I tried Yupo for the first time!

Yupo is a synthetic paper. It's not made from pulp or trees, or anything found in nature, but it is 100% recyclable. It has a plastic-y feel to it, can't be ripped (but you can cut it if you so choose) and best of all, for watercolor, if you mess up, you can just wipe it away. It's pretty amazing actually! For more info on Yupo, go here:

Anyway, so yesterday, I did the painting above on a sheet of Yupo that my friend Leslie gave me. It's really interesting since the watercolor doesn't sink into the paper, like it would on Arches Hot Press, for instance. The paint just sits there on the surface, creating a kind of oil and water like thing. You get these amazing little swirls and forms all over the paper. If you click on the image and take a closer look, you'll see what I mean.

I just wanted to do a quick little portrait of the model using a limited color palette. I wanted it to be more about the way the paint flowed across the page rather than a realistic representation of his face. I worked with my paper vertically, not flat on a surface so some drips did occur, but I like drips. For some reason, I've always loved drippy artwork. And the painting did dry faster than I anticipated. I was also pleased that the paint isn't chipping off the Yupo. I was worried that would happen and everything seems to be staying put.

So I highly recommend going out and trying Yupo paper. It has way more uses than just watercolor, but if you do want to try something new with watercolor, I definitely think it's awesome. I might go out and buy myself a pack.

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