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Playing With Yupo in the Journal Study Group

Yupo, a synthetic plastic "paper," was discussed many times over the years on the Everyday Matters message board and/or members' blogs.  However, I never was interested in playing with it until I saw wonderful watercolor paintings, using crayons as a resist, on Yevgenia's blog

You can search her blog using the word "yupo" and see what I mean.  Yevgenia has a good, short,  tutorial on her blog about painting on yupo and she was wonderful to answer my questions by email. 

My Journal Study Group, 4 artbuddies who all keep sketchbooks, make art quilts, and love bookbinding, meet regularly in NYC for afternoons or full days of fun.  While we were on one of our field trips, we stopped in DaVinci's Art Store and I bought a sheet of yupo to play with.  Yesterday we gathered in my apartment and tried painting on it.  At one point, during lots of giggles, I said that I thought that we were at the very bottom of the "Yupo Learning Curve."  I hope Yevgenia isn't horrified by my very first results.

Here is the evidence:




           These are 4 paintings on Yupo that are cut the size of shipping tags.

I don't think that I will use yupo very often, but I truly believe that it is important to get out of your comfort zone and really play - preferably spending the time with like-minded friends who love to laugh.

Next:  My preliminary "lines" with a ruling pen using thickened black dye on fabric:

 My artbuddy Melly is responsible for this departure from my comfort zone and she even brought her ruling pen yesterday to give me another quick, in person, tutorial.  I'll post these "line drawings" after I have a few more.  I'm really excited about the possibility of drawing on fabric with dye and a pen!!  Think about the book cloth covers I'll be able to make for sketchbooks in the future!


That looks so cool!!! You're convincing me to give it a try!

Hi Shirley:

I just attended a workshop on painting on Yupo last week here in Winnipeg, where I live. I am a watercolourist, and have not used Yupo for several years, so it was good to get a refresher. Like everything else it improves with practice. It's important to just relax and let the paint does its thing on the surface. If you try and control the paint you will drive yourself crazy. If you "google" the word yupo, you will find several other artists who paint exclusively on Yupo.

Sheila J

I think these are delightful watercolors! Like you, I haven't been that interested in trying Yupo, but if I had a group of friends trying it together...it does look like you had fun! Now ruling pens - aargh! They were a nightmare to use back when I was in college and required! Good luck with those :-)

Almost bought some of this the other day myself, though I passed on it in favor of something else! I think your results are wonderful! Very interested in what you are talking about for the lines...

Hi Shirley! Thank you for your kind words about my art and I think these paintings are wonderful! I love the architectural ones especially :)

They look very good.. I am scared of the yupo - no really! I have heard about them, and read about them; I can't think of painting on them.. but you make it look good!

I like the buildings and the effects are interesting. I agree you have to play and experiment in art.

Looks like you had a lot of fun with the Yupo. I have a friend who paints on it a lot and her work is really wonderful. I think you did a great job with it! nancy

These look just terrific. I really like all of them.

I think they look great! =) What an attempt, and I wish my first attempts would have some degree of achievement like that

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