You can doodle, sketch and draw as much as you want on any random piece of paper or even an old newspaper lying around and still get good results.
But if you are working with watercolors, you better use paper that can handle the water.
Regardless if you are using watercolor paint or if you prefer to use watercolor pencils, if you apply it on some random scrap of paper laying around you will quickly see that the water will simply wrinkle the paper and the ink won’t dry well properly.
Regardless if you an absolute beginner or a professional artist, you will need special watercolor paper to obtain good results.
Criteria Of Paper For Watercolor Painting
There are a few factors to keep in mind when buying paper for watercolors. The first important factor is the weight of the paper. This decides how the paper can absorb the water without undergoing damage. Although you don’t need to remember concrete numbers to decide which paper to buy, keep in mind that generally the heavier the paper the better. Although switching to the right paper is necessary, it isn’t going to turn you into an expert immediately. You might have to take a few online watercolor lessons before that happens.
Assuming you have paper that is sufficiently heavy, you next want to look at the texture of the paper. This indicates how long the paper takes to absorb a certain amount of water. Cold pressed paper gives a rough texture that can soak up water very fast. On the contrary, hot pressed paper is very smooth and will take a longer time to absorb the same amount of water. This comes down to personal preference. If you like to take your time when mixing colors, choose hot pressed. If you can’t wait for the paint to try on the paper, choose cold pressed.
Finally, you might come across the term acid-free paper a lot. If the paper contains acid it will slowly start to change color and become brittle over time. A disaster for your artwork! However, if you are just a beginner and still in the first stages of learning how to use watercolors correctly, then finding acid-free paper won’t be very important.
Best Paper For Watercolor Painting
For beginners, we recommend the Canson XL watercolor pad that can be used with both watercolor paint and pencils. This paper is cold pressed using sustainable processes and can withstand several washes. This means you can reapply color several times without having to worry. It comes with 30 sheets that are 9 inches by 12 inches in size and is totally acid-free.
The serious artists amongst us might want to consider using the watercolor pad by Arches.This paper is hot pressed, unlike the one mentioned above. It is completely made out of natural cotton fibers and deals with water like no other. It contains 12 natural white sheets that are 9 inches by 12 inches in size and is completely acid-free. If you are looking for the best paper for watercolor pencils and paint, you don’t need to look further.