Product Review: Yupo Synthetic Paper

yupologoA while ago I read about Yupo “Paper.” Since then I have wanted to try it out.  This weekend I got a 10 sheet pad.  I sacrificed one page to do some tests on.  I want to know what it would be best for, and what not to use it on.

Yupo makes a “paper” out of polypropylene, basically a plastic.  It is plastic so that makes it water proof, tear resistant and durable. It is advertised for use in packaging and outdoor marketing.  For artist use it is recommend for use with watercolors and inks.

As an exterior marketing media, it must be brilliant.  The stuff is really durable.  I can imagine how nice it must be as a packaging material or even just as labels for items that spend a lot of time near water or moisture.

For Artists:

This “paper” is smooth.  “Like a baby’s bottom” does not do this stuff justice.  It is also very white.  Brilliant white does not even cover it.  Think about staring into a florescent light-bulb white. I like both of these aspects of it.  Black marks just leap off the page and the colors are about as true as you can get, no paper color getting in the way.

I tried this with three different mediums, artist pens (Microns,) crow quill pen (Higgins, Black Magic ink) and Gouache.

2015-11-29 11.01.34I will tell you right out of the gate DO NOT use artists pens with this.  The stuff is plastic and does not absorb the inks and additives used in the artist pens.  The ink never dries.  I waited 3 hours and I can still smudge the doodles (the eye and feather.)  It works great with crow quill and ink, both Indian and acrylic based.  They take a while to dry.  You do not get the ink absorbing into the paper, you have to wait for any moisture to evaporate.  It might not be a big deal in dry warm areas, but in the Northwest US, it takes a while, about 30 min for the thick lines.

I also notice there there was no bleeding or feathering on my lines.  This stuff is that smooth.  The only time I snagged the “paper” is when I was doing the spirals and had the pen stabbing into the “paper.”  Still fewer occurrences and less splatter than with traditional paper.

2015-11-29 10.39.18Like the ink the Gouache went on the paper well. I did experience some beading, but I was able to do a few additional strokes to get a smooth color.  I discovered that you can “pickup” colors 100% if you get them off before they can stain the “paper.”  Really handy to know if you are experimenting.  Like the ink, it took a while for the Gouache to dry, about 30 min.

This stuff is crazy durable.  No more worrying about messing up the paper with repeated passes over a spot, with pen or brush.  If you have a REALLY heavy hand, you can make a dent in the “paper” when drawing lines.  You have to push pretty darn hard. I would worry more about breaking your nib before hurting the “paper.”

Once you get your medium on the paper the next worry is usually about transporting and storage.  I rolled it, made weird wavy shapes and even dropped it a few times.  Still looked good, no noticeable damage to the paper and the inks and paints did not flake or crack.  If you use waterproof ink, you can even run it under a faucet and it will not do anything… Water colors and Gouache would wash away leaving a stain of color behind.

This is a really neat paper substitute.  If you are into temporary art or like to test out colors and strokes this might be a great product for you.  You can wash away most of your art or tests.

Quick Pros and Cons:


  • Durable
  • Smooth
  • Bright
  • Stain resistant
  • Water proof
  • will not warp
  • no feathering or bleeding


  • Drying time
  • No Artist Pens
  • Beading

Over all I like the stuff and will use my nine remaining sheets.

I am interested in hearing about anyone else’s experience with this stuff.  I am interested in finding out how it works with acrylic paints.  Being a similar base substance, it could be amazing or really bad.

~This is an honest review of this product.  I am no where near famous enough to be asked to do a sponsored post. – Carissa~


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s