Whether you are painting with purely watercolors or are planning on working in some other media, the surface of the Legion Stonehenge should be able to withstand the toughest of your demands. This means it is acid-free and is made of 100% cotton rag. In fact, this type of paper also works for any type of media, and not only for watercolors – thanks to its high quality. The sheets come in a pad, which comprises 30 sheets bound together with a glue. One of Arches’ strongest offerings will be the variety of size, weight, and paper options available. Sketching is my happy place. When browsing online stores for other inexpensive watercolor papers, we found that many off-brands compromised on weight. Followed by three of the best watercolor paper brands – suitable for framing and even commissions. Beginners can get a good start with 140-pound cold-press, 100 percent cotton rag, acid-free paper in any brand. Like watercolor paints, papers come in both student and professional grades. 2. Therefore, you will need to bring a board with you. Beyond being a favorite with professionals, Canson is also a major sponsor of the Louvre and has supported several initiatives as a result (source). Aside from watercolor paper, here are a few other supplies you will want to have on hand when watercoloring: What use is paper if you don’t have anything to paint it with?! If you have watercolor paper that buckled after it dried, then you will want to follow these steps: Watercolor paper is expensive due to the extensive manufacturing process. In addition to the various weights of paper, you can use watercolor board, which is paper adhered to illustration board. If your designs involve lots of paint and water, and you have tried other watercolor papers that buckled due to the dampness, then you got to give Strathmore’s paper a … Arches Hot Press Watercolor Paper Review. This is a problem in that if you paint with these papers, they will quickly pill and warp when adding the tiniest bit of water. Mary started Createlet to expand on this goal and bring her teaching skills to a wider audience. For those of you who plan on doing commissioned pieces, the paper provided by Arches is both acid-free and pH-neutral. The only challenge is controlling the watercolor paint on the slippery surface – beginners might need some time to perfect it. It is well-made and will showcase your talents beautifully. Mary favors traditional media including oil, acrylic, and watercolors. Similar to masking tape, artist tape is acid free and does a great job at keeping the watercolor paper mounted to a board. Bottom Line: This heavyweight paper from Bee Paper is a great alternative to traditional sketchbooks and pads. This 12 sheet pad gives you the best cold press watercolor paper to learn on if you can afford it. Therefore this paper is best kept for very painterly watercolor work. I couldn’t erase the pencil marks as the paper would tear. The Legion Stonehenge Aqua Coldpress paper is a terrific intermediate level paper. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Artists find that their artwork simply displays better on this paper. Here, we wanted to highlight a few of the key differences between both of these grades and what they will mean for your artwork: Student grade papers tend to be sold in bulk quantities, and are largely reserved for artists who are still learning basic skills such as blending or washing. All the papers that we reviewed above are amongst the best collection of watercolour papers. Consistent gelatin sizing for professional results During the production process, quality watercolor paper companies will submerge the paper into a bath of a sizing agent. Hot pressed watercolor paper has a smooth surface with no “tooth”. No texture to add shadows or interfere with the clean fresh look. It is actually pressed in a press like an iron. I immerse my paper for 3 minutes. It comes only in hot-press or cold-press, and is only available in 140-pound sheets of 22x30 paper, but the brand touts this papers extra sizing, the treatment that reduces absorbency. When Mary isn’t painting you will find her helping other budding artists to unlock their full potential. The professional brands offer even and predictable sizing. The paper needed for this art style is Hot Press artist paper or multimedia paper. Value. This artist-grade watercolor paper is great for watercolor, gouache, acrylic, and airbrushing. I will never recommend a product I have not used frequently and believe is the best tool for the purpose! Like our Content?Share It With Other Artists. While you can watercolor on cardstock, you will want to make sure your paper is mounted to a board as card stock may warp as it dries. Anything less than 300 gsm is considered lightweight paper. When evaluating watercolor papers for beginners, the importance of archival quality, acidity, and absorbency start to diminish. Whether you like to put down a wash or are more into masking, scraping, scrubbing, using salt, or simply plan on using mixing media, this Bee Paper can withstand the abuse thanks to its durability and thickness. You will want to make sure that you secure the wet surface to a board with mounting tape for best results. You can expect your artwork to keep to its true state throughout the time it’s on display. Rembrandt Watercolor Paper is made from 25% cotton content, and has a cold press surface with a medium texture. Like gesso used for oil and acrylic paints, a watercolor ground can transform just about any material into a suitable surface for watercolor painting. Watercolor paper is classified into three surface textures: rough (very textured), cold press (less textured), and hot press (smooth). This watercolor paper roll expertly strikes the perfect balance between both value and quality. Here are a few common questions artists had about watercolor paper: Most artists agree that using watercolors on regular paper is a bad idea. Card stock must be mounted in order to prevent warping. Start with the best watercolor papers that you can afford. 90lbs Hot Pressed also buckles readily even if stretched. This keeps the paper stretched and prevents it from warping. While unable to absorb water nearly as well as traditional watercolor paper, many watercolorists like the smooth texture, particularly for detailed pieces or watercolors that are used on formal drawings. Here are some common alternatives to watercolor paper: Hot pressed and with substantially less weight, drawing paper is intended for use with graphite or charcoal. However, gummed tape is susceptible to peeling and it is recommended that your artwork is cut free with an X-ACTO knife once dried and completed. Whether you intend to use watercolor paint from tubes or pans, a palette provides you with a clean mixing surface in order to provide sharp and crisp results. From beginners to professionals, this paper works well for all. My paper has always been Fabriano Artistico Hot Pressed watercolor paper, usually 140 lbs. Canson XL Watercolor Paper (300 gsm, 9″ x 12″) This paper type is significantly cheaper. At 300 g/m2, this paper won’t buckle or warp easily – allowing you to truly showcase your talents. Canson XL Watercolor Paper has 30 natural white sheets glued at the top, protected with a fold-over cover. I started painting with inexpensive paper back in 2014 – the pigments didn’t blend well. Best Watercolor Paper for Artists As mentioned above, the best watercolor paper is archival quality. The reason is that regular paper is too light and is unable to absorb water well. Lighter doesn’t mean low quality. This means it will handle different techniques well and not yellow with age. Therefore, you will also need to have a drawing board on hand along with some good mounting tape (covered later in this guide). However, we found that most modern student grade papers are acid-free. We hope that this guide proved helpful in your artistic endeavors in finding the perfect quality paper to meet your needs. And, won’t pick up any bad habits (by having to compensate for lousy paper)! For those artists unable to use watercolor paper, there are plenty of other options which include the following: linen canvas, cotton canvas, parchment paper, rice paper, and wood. The archival qualities of this paper type are strong. When using a watercolor paper roll, mounting is a requirement. Artists who want complete control over all aspects in the size of their planned painting. High-quality watercolor papers need pure cotton fiber and a process called sizing. While not as strong as gummed tape, artist tape is easier to remove and will be less likely to ruin artwork. Should You Get Watercolor Paper With A Deckle Edge? When going beyond the four walls of your studio (plein air), you will want to bring a different watercolor paper with you – specifically one that is small, compact, and won’t move when it’s windy. Professional watercolorists that are looking for a 100% cotton cold pressed paper that performs incredibly well. Apr 26, 2015 - Explore Lynn Morrison's board "Hot press watercolor paper" on Pinterest. Watercolor paper is made of wood pulp or cotton. Browse the best watercolor paper for painting. Works well with other media including color pencils, acrylics, markers, gouache, etc. There are three basic types of watercolour paper. The number of brands that make quality watercolor papers is relatively sparse, here the ones most commonly relied upon by artists to provide consistently good results: The price of watercolor paper will vary depending on whether it is made for student or professional level artists. Mounting tape comes in two main varieties – gummed tape and artist tape. However, unlike traditional paper, many brands refer to their weight in GSM (Grams Per Square Meter / g/m2) as they are often located in Europe. When reviewing watercolor papers, especially those that are rough or have been handmade, you may notice a natural tearing along the edges. The most standard paper for watercolor is typically 140lbs, but it will buckle and curl if not taped down or stretched, if you work with lots of wash techniques or cover large amounts of paper with water at the same time. Most notably, if you sketch a plein air painting, there is no solid surface to paint against like a traditional sketchbook or block. Secondly, sizes must be planned carefully before they are cut. I find these convenient for studio painting and wet work. Imported from France, watercolorists have loved Arches paper for centuries. Furthermore, regular paper often contains acid which will yellow over time. Rather than running a tally in your head, the Cason XL’s incredibly low price per pad (typically retails for under $6) will remove this mental block completely. When I started to learn how to watercolor paint, I started out with cartridge paper. In this review and guide, we will be reviewing a selection of watercolor papers – including the highly touted Arches watercolor paper. You could say I had an obsession with the combination of the pencils, the watercolors and the paper. However, a canvas that has been treated with an absorbent ground such as those by Golden or Daniel Smith can be used as a painting surface with your watercolors. Now that you’ve learned to choose the quality, texture, and weight of the paper, it is time to decide what form to buy it in. In those guides, we review materials for every skill level. Common sizes include 30 sheets, 15 sheets, and 12 sheets. Does this seem counterintuitive? While the paper has a nice tooth to it, it is not too rough and offers predictable results. You can find me on, Our Top 5 Picks Of Watercolor Paper For Beginners, #1. Arches Aquarelle Watercolor Paper: One of the overall best watercolor papers in the market; High-quality paper texture and color absorbency; Lets one choose the shape, the weight and the texture of the papers; VIEW LATEST PRICE → Secondly, if you plan on using your new watercolor paper for field sketches, then a smaller size will be helpful when transporting. This post may contain affiliate links. Made from cotton and developed in a safe and environmental-friendly way, it remains an extraordinary watercolor paper. The gentle blossoming of color when you touch a loaded brush on the wet paper, that’s because of sizing. Professional grade paper is often made from a long-staple cotton fiber. This pad comes with 20 sheets in a convenient portrait size glued on all four sides. The variations in the surface depend on what processes were used to make the paper. When considering the price, it is expensive and, therefore, may be a bit too expensive for novice artists. The archival properties of this paper type are poor and not intended for long term display as they often have a neutral pH balance and contain artificial whiteners. Strathmore 300 Series Watercolor Paper (300 gsm, 12″x12″), #3. (For more on cold press and hot press, see the next section.) Paper Type: Cold Pressed Paper, Hot Pressed Paper, Rough Paper. Lastly, the size of the sheet will impact the price. In terms of its manufacturing process, the Arches Watercolor Paper Pad is up there with the best. The Strathmore 400 Series can take a really heavy wash, and that for us makes it the best watercolor paper for beginners and experts alike. Traditional canvas that is left untreated (raw) or primed with gesso is incompatible with watercolors. Canson XL Watercolor Paper (300 gsm, 9″ x 12″), #5. An inexpensive pad of watercolor paper will cost under $10 whereas a professional block of watercolor paper will cost upwards of $50. Afterwards, you’ll find out everything you need to know about watercolor paper and picking the best one for your needs. The spiral-bound paper is usually perforated so that you can tear it out easily. The much finer texture of this paper won’t absorb watercolors nearly as well and will be susceptible to warping as the weight is typically around 130 g/m2. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Createlet is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Hot pressed paper has a smooth surface. The paper itself should be able to withstand a couple of hundred years’ worth of display time before a conservationist will even have to perform any work. I almost gave up on myself as a lousy artist. While there are machines that can reproduce this design flare, it largely harkens back to the day when watercolor papers were handmade. Seasoned watercolorists know just how important selecting the right watercolor paper can be. This is another excellent paper but it performs very differently from Hot Pressed paper. The traditional sweet spot that watercolorists prefer is 300 g/m2. Saunders Waterford Hot Pressed, NOT, Rough 90lb, 140lb, 200lb, 300lb: Loose Sheets; Glued Block; Fat Pads; Hard Back Book; This exquisite, traditionally mould-made watercolour paper is superior quality and comes with an endorsement from the Royal Watercolour Society. When I started to, If I Had To Choose One Option for Beginners …, #2. Over the years, I have tried many techniques and have occasionally worked on other papers, but by and large, I have been loyal to my paper and pencils. Additionally, watercolor paper also has a much longer drying process which can have an impact on costs. To determine which paper is best for your needs, first, it is useful to understand the characteristics of paper … It is made from 100% cotton, has a neutral pH-level and is acid-free. Bottom Line: If you are planning to paint portraits or detailed pieces, then you will love the control and ultimately the results when working with this hot press paper by Arches. The 100% cotton cold press paper comes in a velvety, fine-grained texture, much smoother than the Arches cold press paper. Secondly, palettes can help you mix subtle gradients that bring your painting to the next level. You’ll get 20 sheets of extra white paper that shows colors well. If you like more control you can use hot press watercolor paper. The affordable pricing means you’ll be able to learn without burning a hole in your pocket. Whether you are buying through a retailer such as Amazon, Dick Blick, or Jerry’s Artarama, you will find that Legion makes their paper in several sizes along with both hot and cold pressed options. As for the weight, Arches makes their watercolor papers in five different weights including 185, 300, 356, 640, and 850 g/m2 (available when purchasing through a specialty retailer such as Dick Blick). Arches manufactures more sizes and weights of artist grade watercolor paper than any other paper company I know of. The prices of this paper are significantly higher and typically range upwards to $4 for a single sheet. This experience reflects the excellent quality of their paper. All student grade papers are not the same. Beginners might end up buying the cheapest and worst ones, such as cartridge paper, to learn on. When looking for the hot press paper, then most watercolorists agree that Arches makes the best paper surface out there. This can kill your confidence as an artist because many will interpret this as their fault and not that of the papers. This will result in warping and wrinkling of the paper. This controls the absorbance and spread of water. Think of Hot Press paper as having its wrinkles ironed out. Secondly, the paper is made from long staple cotton which shouldn’t pill or warp when adding several layers or brush strokes to a particular area. This process is called stretching and ensures that the paper won’t crinkle or warp when your artwork is finished. Whereas, the cold-pressed watercolor paper is a coarse paper with a bumpy finish. How do you flatten watercolor paper that has been warped or wrinkled? Additionally, copy paper may contain acid and is full of whiteners which may cause deterioration at a quicker rate. At roughly 200 g/m2,card stock can work in a pinch when it comes to light watercolor sketches. Arches is a go-to paper brand: their iconic pads with a bright cover and black-and-white floral border is … Arches cold press paper is a universal favorite amongst artists. Bottom Line: For the artist who wants to go beyond the four walls of their studio, this watercolor block not only will perform well, but is also an affordable option. Art Ignition is reader-supported. The first two options are some of the best cheap watercolor paper in the market for beginners. Like traditional paper, watercolor paper varies in weight. I learned the hard way that this doesn’t work. Thanks to the machine made design, like Arches, the paper provides a consistent and slightly textured surface with each sheet. BUMPY TEXTURE Watercolor paper, however that has a bumpy feel to the touch – is known as Cold Press Watercolor Paper. Opt for cold pressed texture if you like spontaneous, wet washes and loose painting. 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