Watercolor Papers, my preferences.

Trying to decide what watercolor paper to use? There are so many out there. Thru the years I have soaked and stretched papers, tried thin rough papers, and thick smooth ones. I have tried countless brands, and continue to go back to the same one. This is not a paid advertisement for Arches, just an acknowledgement of a good product. I no longer pre-wet the paper and clamp it to dry. I don’t have the time for that. So I am interested in the 300 lb weights. You have an option of Hot Press or Cold Press papers. I still like both, but have been doing a lot of work on the Hot Press lately. The Hot Press papers are a smoother surface finish, the Cold Press a bit rougher, and then there is Rough, that is self explanatory.
The subject matter needs to fit the paper. If you are painting a forest scene, lots of branches, leaves, etc., there’s going to be so much detail the bumps in the paper seem to contribute. But if you want to paint someones portrait, using a smoother finish paper is going to be more appropriate. I will say that both types of Arches 300 lb papers, stand up to quite a bit of abuse. From using masking fluids, to scraping details in the paper that some artists do. The papers I use are not pre-stretched for my purposes. And one more observation, the smoother finish paper, or Hot Press, seems to absorb the watercolors faster. I would really recommend trying both & watch for absorbency, and how the texture affects your subject matter.

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Filed under Art News, Painting, Watercolors

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