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YUPO Paper vs. Cold-Press Watercolor Paper and the Application of Watercolor Paint.

Two examples include YUPO and Cold-pressed watercolor paper.

Characteristics of each of these two types of watercolor paper are as follows:

YUPO Paper: YUPO is the recyclable, waterproof, tree-free Synthetic Paper. Some of YUPO’s attributes include:

  • Durable

  • Wipes clean (if you are not using a staining watercolor paint color)

  • Waterproof

  • Will not tear

  • Bright White

  • Smooth

  • Vibrant painting

  • Fluidity - The paints run more on this surface.

  • YUPO doesn’t absorb the paint like cold-press paper.

  • Interesting textures form as the paint dries on the paper.

Below is an example of a painting done on YUPO. You’ll notice the various textures that appear in the sky and on the grapevines as well as the ground.

Cold-pressed paper: To make cold pressed paper, sheets of cellulose pulp are pressed through felt covered metal rollers at cold temperature - hence the designation “cold press”. The felt rollers and the drying process used contribute to the bumpy texture of this type of paper. This is probably the most popular type of watercolor paper. Some of Cold-pressed attributes include:

  • It has a lightly textured with small indentations and divots in the surface.

  • The indentations and divots trap the water and color.

  • The indentations and divots allow for greater control when painting large surfaces.

  • It is the paper used most often by watercolor artists.

  • It is good for large areas of wash but not so great for fine detail.

  • The surface allows you to blend colors directly on it.

Below is an example of a painting (similar to the one above) done using cold-press watercolor paper. You’ll notice how the colors are more blended than when using YUPO.

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Bob Anderson
Bob Anderson
Jan 13, 2022

great article

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