Monday, October 25, 2010

Introducing: YUPO

YUPO is a polypropylene sheet that looks and acts like paper, but uses no trees and is 100% recyclable. I think it is awesome. It is used in the printing and packaging industry. Artists discovered it as an excellent surface for watercolor techniques.

I have worked with YUPO for about 6 hours total. I have only just begun to experiment. This thin, sturdy, waterproof material is ideal for miniature cutting, because it enables me to cut accurately. It is so smooth. It's like buttah....

The tiny keys above are cut with my Klic-n-Kut electronic cutter and painted with alcohol inks. The alcohol inks by Adirondack are permanent, unless you put them in contact with alcohol or a similar solvent. What is amazing is a build-up of bronze-colored ink on each side of the key makes it look like a real key to scale. I add just a touch of blue or slate so it doesn't look too new. I accidentally sat on a couple, and they snapped back into shape. I am in love. I should note that items I bent that were untreated creased and stayed that way.

Yupo and alcohol inks are used here in a wash. I did use alcohol, sparingly, to remove pigment as well as thin it. See how the lips are built up and lifted of color. The hue is brighter each time it is applied. However, as in all watercolor brush techniques, there is the possibility of saturating and pooling the color beneath. It is a sweet dance of which I allowed the underlying surface to lead. The result is a loose style of color layering.

I am getting requests for miniature items for cards and encouragement to try dollhouse and doll scale items. Scale can be a fun exploration. Notice how the tiniest model distorted. I don't know why. Buckles are fun to use on dolls, cards, packages, and ribbons. The key is a blank. What a difference from the first photo!

Had I corrected this photo, you would see the brilliance of color on the butterfly wings. The color is magenta and violet. The satin-y look is from a pearl version of the ink. The dots are pearl and the veins are done by dragging a brush from one end of the wing to the other. That's it. The ink and the surface do the rest. Again, I am using a loose style and unconcerned about symmetry. Sometimes the ink built up gets sticky. I matted it down with glitter. Of course I did.

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