What You Need to Know About Yupo Paper

By Nicole Tinkham

You’ve probably heard the name Yupo art paper when taking a workshop or browsing your favorite art supply store, but you may not be familiar with this popular paper or how to use it. In this post, you’ll learn why watercolor artists love this paper, tips for using it, and examples of how it can be used. We think you’ll be surprised at the different effect Yupo paper provides!

What is Yupo paper?

Yupo paper is a tree-free synthetic paper that’s 100% recyclable AND waterproof. Because of these properties, it’s often used for design, packaging, and labeling. For now however, we’re going to focus on how it can be used with watercolor paint and inks. Being water-resistant makes this paper ideal for use with watercolors as Yupo doesn’t absorb the paint like ordinary watercolor paper would. Because of this, you’ll notice nice textures that form as the paint dries on the Yupo paper.

Why you should use it

Yupo paper has many characteristics that will catch your interest as an artist. Here are a few:

• Smooth surface
• Durable/will not tear
• Waterproof
• Wipes clean

How you can use it

As mentioned, you’ll most likely use Yupo paper when working with watercolor paints and/or inks. Since Yupo is much different than your ordinary watercolor paper, here are a few tips to help you get used to this plastic-like paper.

1. Paint loosely: Since the paper will not absorb water, pigments have a tendency to “swim” until evaporated. Precise details may be difficult to achieve so a loose painting style may be a better choice.

2. Don’t touch the paper: You don’t want oils from your fingers getting on the Yupo paper so make sure to wash your hands frequently and use a towel to rest your hand on when working.

3. How to fix your mistakes: Simply add water to the mistake and wipe clean with a paper towel.

4. Experiment: Play around with Yupo paper and give yourself plenty of time to get the hang of it!

Do you think Yupo paper will become your new paper of choice when working with watercolors/inks? It’s a great paper to at least experiment with if nothing else. Stop by Keeton’s and grab a sheet of your own to test it out. Make sure to let us know what you think! You can connect with us here on the blog (just leave a comment below), or on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. We look forward to hearing from you!

6 thoughts on “What You Need to Know About Yupo Paper

  1. can you use spray glue this paper onto wood? was thinking about a face clock design with alcohol inks. what would you suggest as a sealant to preserve the artwork? i have never used this paper

  2. wow wish I had found this article sooner.. I, ever curious, bought some y paper and put it aside as I couldn’t figure out what to do with it. Thank you so much. beautifully informative.

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