February 12, 2016

Creepie prez - Yupo paper test

My first impression of the man was that he was creepy. There is a dispute whether he was a satanist, but there was never any doubt that he lead a tough and crappy life, particularly in his younger days. I thought his facial features would lend themselves well for a test of Createx' Yupo airbrush paper. It is a synthetic material, which I had never tried before. I used an A4 size sheet, which basically forced me to spray more delicate lines and areas (large paintings are no challenge). The paint used for the test was Inspire H2O and the airbrush an Iwata HP-BH.

Yupo paper requires very careful appliance of paint - low pressure (barely enough to push out the paint; I never look at the compressor's air pressure gauge) and a mix-ratio of paint : reducer = 1 : 7. The airbrush rarely is further away from the paper than a few millimeters while spraying during the entire test.

Erasing must be done with great caution, especially when using hard material erasers. Erasers made of soft material are more forgiving, allowing to erase controlled fades. Erasers of hard material at some point abruptly remove the paint entirely, leaving a blank spot in an airbrushed area. When used with cautious dexterity they can also be used to erase faded areas, but it remains a tricky enterprise.

As usual, oldest stage at the bottom, newest on top. Findings concerning spraying and erasing on Yupo synthetic paper you see at the end of this page below the images.

Feb 14 2016 12:30 - although one can
never be sure, I think it's finished now...

Feb 13 2016 19:30 - Couldn't leave it 'unfinished'
Did some more work on the portrait...

Feb 12 2016 20:15

Feb 12 2016 15:00

Feb 12 2016 13:00

Feb 12 2016 12:00

Feb 12 2016 - First experiences with Yupo paper
Not sure what to think about synthetic Yupo paper. Perhaps it has to grow on me. I don't think it is an improvement over 'traditional' surfaces; it's very slippery and requires caution in erasing. On the other hand colors sprayed seem more radiant and saturated (provide applied in many layers).

Feb 13 2016 addition - Erasing Yupo paper better understood
Erasing Yupo 2.0 Started to get the hang of it I guess. Yupo allows to bring the white back entirely when erasing correctly. Clay board and various types of paper allow artists to erase back to approximately 90% white, but Yupo goes all the way. Experiment with eraser of different types of hardness / softness. Once the effect of working with various erasers is understood, this type of surface can be very helpful in creating perfect highlights and removing unwanted areas of overspray. I can now imagine that some artists would really like this synthetic surface.

Erasing very thinly sprayed areas is the most tricky; a little too much pressure will remove all paint from the surface. The good news is that the white area, left by accidentally removed paint, is perfectly sprayable and corrections are easy to make. This property also lends itself quite well to soften hard edges caused by masking. I am starting to like Yupo more and more...

Yupo and Inspire H2O
From what I've read (haven't tested it yet) Yupo is not suited for all airbrush paints. But I find that the paper works quite well with Inspire H2O. I discovered that diluting the paint a bit less than I usually do - paint : reducer = 1 : 2 or 1: 3 - will slightly improve adherence to the surface, while not noticeably affecting its handling in the airbrush and worsening the clogging of paint. Artists accustomed to clayboard type of surfaces will need to adjust their spraying and erasing routines somewhat, but once they've done that I think they will appreciate it.

Feb 14 2016 - Yupo's non-absorbtion
I think I figured out why colors look saturated on Yupo and why corrections - spraying over accidentally erased areas - are easy to make. Colors are saturated because none of the pigments are absorbed by the surface; they are all layered on top of the paper and therefore all contribute entirely to the visual effect. Over-saturated areas that sometimes occur when using traditional paper or clayboard are simply not possible. Concerning the erasing: when a mistake in erasing is made, spraying over the area is starting all over again from scratch, not building on the remains that could not be removed. Conclusion: although airbrushing on Yupo required certain adjustments, I came to like it. To artists with above average dexterity and patience I recommend Yupo.