Artist Tip 31: Helpful YUPO Hints For the Watercolor Painter

taylor IkinBy Taylor Ikin
Put it down...wipe it out!

With YUPO I have total freedom to put down anything I want...the more the merrier...then lift right back to white. Put aside your resist or mask...just sculpt back through your darks to create your lights. Be aware that fingers can leave an unseen oil which can act as a resist and cause the paint to give an uneven look. This can be corrected by painting and drying, painting and drying etc. In most instances I find it exciting and a way to make more texture and areas of interest.

Taylor Ikin Yupo SampleDo not use...

a hair dryer or any other heat too close to the surface. It makes the surface expand.

YUPO will stay flat...

... under normal conditions. I merely roll a small piece of tape and place it on the back near the top and press the paper to its support surface. This gives the freedom to lift and move your support surface creating runs and flows so wonderful on the YUPO surface.

Experience is the best teacher!

This is a thrilling surface...and to maximize your beginnings the painter should be prepared to stand back and allow the water and paint to create the work for you. Do not get too controlling too early in the game.

taylor Ikin Yupo Sample 2Anything goes on YUPO.

If you use too much water it will take longer to dry. Remember there is no tooth to the surface and the color will stay on top and remain vivid. Excess water has to air dry. You will learn your way on this one. Globs of paint have to air dry as well...much like a pile of paint left uncovered on your palette. I often press a paper towel on a tacky spot. If it lifts a tiny bit of paint, I just look at it as another way to make texture.

Kleenex and paper towels are a must.

I can scoop, lift, shove and pat, making unexpected shapes and images. Anything that will make a mark is fair game and should be used to the maximum.

YUPO is an acid free archival synthetic surface.

I am often asked how you can protect the finished surface since it is so easy to go back and lift the painting months later. The same caution in handling any watercolor painting should also be applied to YUPO. However, if you would prefer, you can spray the work with Blair 201 matte finish or Krylon matte finish. Krylon is more readily available from hardware and craft stores. It also has the benefit of being UV-Resistant.

  • Be sure you are finished with the painting. Once sprayed it is very hard to work back into the image.
  • Spray need a lot of ventilation.
  • Place image flat on the floor, driveway, deck etc.
  • Shake can and hold a good distance away...not down close.
  • Spray lightly...mostly around the edges where it will be handled.
  • I spray lightly three a few minutes between sprays
  • Allow to dry before bringing back into the studio.
  • I do not always spray. The painting is as secure as any other watercolor on paper. If it will be handled and passed around, then I spray.

If later you want to go back into the painting, you will have to rough up the surface a bit, but it can be done. I prefer to just put the painting in a plastic sleeve and keep it there until it is framed. Keep those brushes working!
YUPO is great for water media as well as acrylic, pastel, collage, colored pencil, graphite, crayon, pen and ink…and puff paint!

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