abstract acrylics art

Having Fun with Fluid Acrylics on Yupo with Jodi Ohl


Jodi Ohl is da bomb! I loved her acrylic abstracts on Yupo® paper class. When I first bought a pad of Yupo (another word for plastic haha) several years ago, I hated it. My watercolor just sat on top and sloshed around. If you wiped it, it came totally off… so unnatural when compared to a fine cotton watercolor true paper with absorption ;-)!

Anyway, Jodi taught me the value of painting on Yupo. It’s forgiving, it’s smooth and shiny, and it’s waterproof. Since it is synthetic, you can scrub without tearing and you may wipe it clean to lift color to reveal the bright white substrate. That means, you can pile it up with acrylics and then wipe it down with alcohol or water through a stencil (or not) to reveal the white of the “paper.”

Our first practice exercise was to use just black (or gray…which I did not) and white to play with liquid high flow acrylics and a brayer on the surface of the Yupo. We used stencils to brush on and wipe off. We sgraffitoed in pseudo-script with a toothpick. And, we used textured wallpapers and plastics (like needlepoint material) to print or lift to add texture to the surface of our art. We even used wax crayons as a resist.

Two of the paints we used were high flow and fluid acrylics. Fluid Paint has a lighter consistency, more like heavy cream, and shows less of a brushstroke. High Flow paint is even thinner than Fluid Paint. It has an ink-like consistency but it’s paint. Used in an artist bottle with a fine line applicator tip, it is easy to write and graffiti up your artwork with different color paints. We even spritzed alcohol and/or water for a very cool effect. So, this was our chance to play and experiment while also using it as a value study (darks, lights, and mid-tones) since we were just using black and white.

Playing with High Flow Acrylics on Yupo

After we practiced on three small sample pieces of Yupo in just black and white, we worked on a landscape on a full-sized sheet of Yupo in full color high flow acrylics. Here is what I painted during the class. I call it “Moeru Yōna Nichibotsu” or “Flaming Sunset.”

Moeru Yōna Nichibotsu
“Moeru Yōna Nichibotsu” fluid and high flow acrylics on Yupo paper

Of course, I just had to practice at home. I didn’t have stencils or high flow acrylics but I can probably take my fluid acrylics and dilute them in acrylic medium but I haven’t tried that. I definitely don’t want to make them less viscous with water as it will dilute the color, weaken the bond and destroy the archival properties.

Here is a painting I played with using Golden Fluid Acrylics at home:

Fucshia Geos high flow acrylics on Yupo
“Fuchsia Geos” high flow acrylic on Yupo.

If you’re interested in learning more, please take a class with Jodi Ohl… she has both in-person and online classes available. Check out her art, books, classes, and blog posts on her web site: jodiohl.com.

Stacey with Jodi Ohl
Stacey with artist and author Jodi Ohl at her 2021 Art of the Carolinas workshop in Raleigh, North Carolina

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