I found a half sheet of Yupo in my stash and another couple of sample pieces in a box and wanted to try it again. Yupo is a unique surface to work on and has benefits and frustrations, depending on what you’re trying to achieve.
Its not for the faint of heart who like precision, that’s for sure. Yupo is synthetic plastic so watercolour sits on the surface instead of soaking into the paper. Strong, impressionistic work seems to work well for this surface , as you have little control over the paint flow, except to try to concentrate it in areas.
There is no need to mask areas because you can go back into a piece and with a clean damp brush, take it back to the white surface in a second with no paper damage. Yupo is virtually indestructable unless you decide to poke holes in it or crease it.
Water reactivates the paint so you need to do a little planning before you put down colour or try to add layers of colours as they will shift before your eyes. I found on this piece of yupo that on area in particular was being very resistant to accepting colour. I persevered and won in the end. Perhaps a fingerprint or similar changed the surface texture a little, I don’t know. But this paper has its challenges.
Overall, I like it for strong impressionistic pieces, but don’t think it would ever become a constant in my stash of watercolour papers. Like drafting film, it is something different to try with a variety of mediums. Experimentation is always fun and you never know what you’ll learn along the way.