Personal Art Blog

Sharing the lessons I teach at the Artist Guild and the personal discoveries in my art.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Testing Wax Finish on Yupo

Tree Study.
10x8in watercolor Not for sale

Artist Note
This was a practice watercolor on Yupo. Learning
to handle the non absorbent surface is an interesting
way to spend time. I have a few of these types of
painting experiments and they are handy to try out
the different wax or varnish coating
Below is a close-up of the tiny, tiny bubbly marks
the force of the spray varnish made...even though I
held the canister far enough away to land very lightly.
I held it at an angle for you to see
what I mean.
Watercolor on Yupo lifts off too easily.

The next one is showing the wax finish and the
soft sheen it gives when held to the light

The watercolor below originally had a richer color which
lifted off when I applied Dorland's cold wax.
(Dorland's is great with oil)

I have tried three different brands of wax and tomorrow
I will show which product I like best with a
short video on how I apply the wax.
IF I can get it to work!!


  1. I use Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic Spray for my Yupo paintings. Several light coats from about 4-6" away with drying time in between works well for me. Happy creating! :-D

  2. What fun you are having. And look what is out there for all of us oil painters when we wish to spread our wings out further. Thanks, Julie.

  3. these are beautiful - and thanks for these tips - so helpful!

  4. Dear Julie, i love your watercolor wood-scapes!!
    Just I learn from you that was possible, wax on watercolors I tried cold wax Maimeri avalaible here.
    It seems very simple use wax and pleasant for my eye. Thanks for all your explanations !!!

  5. I have had bad luck with all of the sprays and on the search for an alternative. I am looking forward to seeing what has worked for you.

  6. Beautiful watercolour paintings and very interesting the result of wax finishing !!!

  7. I'll be interested to see the results of the wax. In the meantime, I like both pieces but the top one the best. And the spray sort of produced some interesting results.

  8. Your tree study is beautiful and I always enjoy the process even though I don't do watercolors...learning everyday...!!!

  9. That middle piece looks like it worked well! I am trying to remember if I used a spray varnish on a piece I did on Yupo. Can't quite remember. And I know this might sound odd, but I LOVE the last piece, even though the wax lifted color. I think the colors are gorgeous in it!

  10. YUPO is so difficult to work on, I am in admiration of your results , love your tree study ! Is the bottom one painted on Yupo too !

  11. Your blog has to be the very best Julie. Looking forward to tomorrow's information.

  12. Very interesting information, Julie, and appreciate the detail photo you included. I have never tried Yupo, but in looking at your results I do like the watercolor effects. I even like the spray effects - goes right along with my texture-loving philosophy. Thank you so much for sharing your findings!

  13. A fixative spray has worked for me in the past, maybe the fixative and then wax?


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