Are you are thinking of taking up watercolor painting as a hobby or a profession? Well, in either case you will need some help to select the right paper for your painting projects when you are just getting started. Generally, the kind of watercolor paper will be chosen based on the thickness and texture. You can also choose this paper in line with the ultimate look that you want to get. The standard paper for watercolor will have different surface options such as rough, cold press and hot press.

type of watercolor paper

Here are some common kinds of paper for water coloring:

Rough Paper – This paper is generally utilized for a looser technique, where accuracy and detail will not be important. It will be easier to do dry brushing effectively on the rough or cold textures.

Cold Press – If you are painting abstracts and landscapes then this paper will be the ideal choice, especially if an assortment of textures will be needed. This paper boasts a moderate amount of roughness, which is somewhere between the rough and hot press textures.

Hot Press – This paper will work nicely for multiple blending and washes. Artists who choose this style are usually looking for a more in depth technique, where accuracy is vital. The paper is smooth and fine-grained, so it will be much easier for you to correct errors while using it when compared to the rougher types.

watercolor paper  stretching tips

All of these papers are available with different level of thickness. Watercolor paper has pound ratings, which are generally linked to the pounds for each ream of 500 sheets paper. This paper has typical weights of 300 lb, 140 lb and 90 lb. You should know that the price will be more for the higher weights. One of the advantages of using the 300 lb. paper would be the fact that you don’t have to stretch it because of its natural stiffness. It can also take more mistreatment from scrubbing and sanding, plus it will not require any support besides the surface that it’s placed on for painting.

Some of the watercolor paper suppliers include Strathmore, Saunders Waterford, Winsor & Newton, Fabriano, Bockingford and Arches. Each brand offers different texture, quality and thickness. Make sure that any paper that you choose is free of lignin and acid. Most of the papers satisfy these specifications, but you should ask just to ensure. You can also find stretching watercolor paper that you can use.

Bockingford paper will not absorb colors like the other types, making it possible for artists to make necessary corrections by lifting. The paper will not work nicely with double glazed colors, so it’s only recommended for direct painting.

You will discover that it could be tempting to start painting your masterpiece, but you should take some time to stretch out the watercolor paper. It is important to note that watercolor paper sizes below 260 lb will have to be stretched out before you can use it or else it will warp easily.