≡ Menu
paint flowers from imagination with fluid acrylic on yupo paper

How to paint mixed media flowers on yupo paper : Orange Blossoms

How to paint mixed media flowers on yupo paper

Orange Blossoms

Yupo paper is fun to try with watercolor and ink as the paint will make very interesting textures while drying on that type of paper, that makes it ideal to start a painting with an abstract background.

You can paint directly on the Yupo paper or mount it on board before painting. I chose to mount it on board.

You will need

  • cradled panel, I used a 8 x 8 inches wood panel
  • Krylon workable fixative
  • Acrylic paint, I used Pebeo in titanium white
  • Graphite pencil
  • Krylon workable fixative
  • Blue Sakura Micron marker
  • White Oil Sharpie marker
  • Watercolor paint, I used Yarka watercolors.
  • Fluid Acrylic, I used Liquitex Ink in Red and Orange
  • Ink Pen and Speed Ball ink in Teal Green
  • Varnish to finish
  • Alcohol

You might also be interested in my online class: Painting Flowers from imagination with mixed media

Mounting Yupo paper on board

I basically used the same technique I use when mounted regular watercolor paper on board, click here to see how to mount watercolor paper on board.

The paper is mounted on the board with gel medium.

cutting the sides of the yupo paper

Once the medium had time to dry (about one day), trim the sides of the board with a cutter.

yupo paper mounted on board.

You should get a very neat surface ready to be painted on.

Painting the abstract background

drips of ink and fluid acrylic on the yupo paper

You can use watercolor, ink, fluid acrylic… to paint an abstract background. Here I used fluid Acrylic and Ink


abstract backgroubd with fluid acrylics wet into wet

Brush the paint to spread it all over the yupo paper.

Adding drips of alcohol for visual texture

To add more texture, you can add a few drops of alcohol

abstract background with alcohol visual texture

Your background will look something like this once dry.

Outlining shapes and painting the negative space


Outlining shapes with graphite

Now, relax and look at the background and try to see recognizable shapes that fit what you would like to paint. Here I wanted to paint flowers, so I am looking for blooms and leaves shapes. Outline the shapes you see with a graphite pencil. Graphite works well on Yupo paper and produces a very crisp line.

Outlining shapes with graphite

If you are painting flowers, try to connect a few of them with stems and add a few leaves.

Painting the negative space with white acrylic

Paint all the negative space with white acrylic and let dry.

Painting the negative space with white acrylic

Adding designs with markers, pen and ink.

Sharpie white oil marker to add patterns

Then you can start to add details to the shapes you have left with color, here with a Sharpie white oil marker.

adding graphite patterns on yupo paper

Graphite works so well on Yupo paper that you can also use it to add designs and patterns.

glazing with diluted ink

You can also paint on top of those designs, here with diluted ink.

painting over leaves with diluted acrylic ink

adding patterns with dipping pen and Ink

You can use a pen dipped in fluid acrylic or ink to add designs as well


drawing patterns onto leaves with pen and ink

drawing with graphite on yupo paper

Graphite can be used to color the area.

mixed media flower painting on yupo paper

The finished painting : Orange blossom

Have you tried mixed media on yupo paper, did you like it?





  • Noelle Franklyn

    I’ve been hunting around for tips on using a variety of inks and paints, ect on yupo paper and I’ve just started using alcohol inks and find they dry before I can move them around. I’ve found some good info online and yours is one of the best sites I’ve visited, re this. So, thank you. Will look for your works and tips.

  • Beautiful! I love the colors of this, and how you put the white details over the color. Thanks so much for the informative tutorial – I just found you via Pinterest. I’m excited to explore your other posts now. Thanks!

  • Sandrine! I stumbled across your lovely art work on Pinterest! You are my new crush. 🙂 I have been painting with acrylics, speedball ink and using negative space for many years now–differently than you–and am really excited to try some of your techniques. I wonder if you could talk about the difference between painting on the yupo before mounting it on the cradled board. Does this work? Or does the paper painting become too rumpled and bumpy to mount nicely?

    • Thanks James! I am glad you liked the blog and that we are using some of the same techniques. You could mount Yupo paper after painting I guess but I would be very cautious not to damage the painting while mounting it on board. As you know yupo paper is a very slick surface and paint could be scratched off the surface so I like better mounting it first and then painting.

  • Leni

    What is the brand and size of the nib pen here that you used?
    And i want a dip-nib pen for using masking fluid and other ink. What is preferable?

  • You have such a lovely site so full of information. Once I get a grip on my work and a series going I really want to share with others the way you have.

  • Suzette Graham

    I want to thank you for sharing your techniques on this site. I majored in art many years ago but with marriage and family I let my art take a back seat in my life. Now I am oldish and your art inspired me to get going again and with your shared techniques I am happily producing art again, art that I am excited about. Thanks for your generosity!

    • Thanks Suzette! I am very happy to hear that you started making art again as my intent for this blog is to inspire other artists 🙂 I hope you will have lots of fun!

  • Loryn McMeekin

    I would like to receive your posts to my email…

  • Amy Coppola

    What color ink or fluid acrylic are you using on your pen to trace the flowers (it looks like an aqua, maybe?). It looks so lovely and creamy. I was hoping to find some for myself!
    Thank you so much for sharing your steps with us.

    • Thanks Amy 🙂
      I am using Speedball ink in Teal green with the dipping pen.

  • Barbara

    So farking beautiful!!! Xo

  • When I paint the negative space, it seems the inks bleed through the white paint. Have you experienced this? Would you recommend spraying it with a matte spray to set the colors first before the white?
    I’ve also noticed that using alcohol on 140 watercolor paper seems to eat away at the paper. If I mount it first using these techniques does this help keep it from buckling? Or is the secret using yupo paper? Love your tutorials!

    • Hello Laura,
      If you don’t want the bleeding I recommend you spray the painting once dry with workable fixative ( I am using Krylon workable fixative). The other way is to let your first layer dry, the acrylic will make it water resistant and then paint another layer on top.
      For the alcohol, you could try on 300 lb paper, or on 140 lb that has been mounted on board. You are right, mounting the paper will prevent any buckling.


  • When I paint the negative space, it seems the inks bleed through the white paint. Have you experienced this? Would you recommend spraying it with a matte spray to set the colors first before the white?
    I’ve also noticed that using alcohol on 140 watercolor paper seems to eat away at the paper. If I mount it first using these techniques does this help keep it from buckling? Or is the secret using yupo Paper? Thanks!! LOVE your tutorials.

  • pinned, linked, googlePlused, FB’d and tweeted too.

  • Sandrine, Your art is always so interesting and unique. I’ve painted many watercolors on Yupo and love it. I need to get me some white acrylic and try your techniques tho. Plus I love the idea of mounting watercolor paper or Yupo to a board. Would this work with masonite as well? If so, Would I need to do anything special to the masonite that you know of? I’ll go check out your post about mounting. thank you so much for making all this info so available.
    peace n abundance,

    • Thanks CheyAnne. I think it would work on masonite although I haven’t tried it. The advantage of the board is that the surface is very smooth, as any bump might show through the paper. So I guess it will work with the smooth type of masonite. Let me know if you try it:)

      • I like the idea of your board because they are more like a canvas type of piece, and masonite is much skinnier and might me harder to hang. It is very smooth tho. I buy the treated kind for my art boards and there are no bumps. I’m going to try this but not quite sure when yet. I will let you know how it turns out and maybe I’ll even blog about it. I do admire how you keep your blog rolling and need to do the same. Lots of energy and time it takes to create just one post. Thanks for your reply. Peace

  • Rupa

    I love this painting. I have Yupo paper and will give this a try with the water colors/acrylics I have. Thank you so much for showing us the negative painting technique. The possibilities are only limited by our imagination it seems with this technique of finding shapes in a randomly painted background.

  • 91159600

    This looks like good fun! Never used yupo paper but have heard it is difficult to use and that you need to use gloves to work with it because the natural oil marks the paper. Is this true? Didn’t know you could use acrylic paint on it either…thought it was only watercolour. You teach me so many things. I truly wish I lived in the Lower Mainland so that I could take some of your workshops. Thanks for adding to my day!

    • Thanks! I am glad you are enjoying the blog.
      I am not wearing gloves to paint on yupo, usually it is enough if you wash your hands with soap before painting. You can also clean the yupo paper with alcohol to remove any trace of grease before painting. Let me know what you think if you try yupo 🙂

    • Rupa

      @91159600, you can achieve great results even with alcohol inks on yupo paper.