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Does Watercolor paper matter?

Updated: Jan 7


Nobody discusses this and even with some research, articles on this topic are very rare and hard to find. When I started with watercolors, I bought an inexpensive watercolor paper. The paintings often had unintended odd shapes forming because the paper did not hold the water as it should. Furthermore, the colors didn't mix well.

dull painting watercolor paper
Watercolor Paper

For example, when I watch certain watercolorists, the same techniques were used yet the color blends and mix much better. Another thing that is inexpensive paper does is that the resulting paintings will lack depth and saturation. I know it's expensive to buy professional watercolor papers when you are just starting, but it is normal to work with inexpensive watercolor papers in the beginning as you become more comfortable with the medium.

There are also budget watercolor papers with 300GSM. I prefer COLD pressed as it gives a nice texture when you paint on it. HOT pressed is a smoother version of watercolor paper and blends itself into soft and moody paintings.

My personal favorite for practice:

Once you get comfortable with the medium, consider working on professional watercolor papers such as:

- Arches

- Saunders

- Winsor/Newton

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1 Comment

Traian Rusu
Traian Rusu
Apr 25, 2021

Thank you for the great advice and guidance!

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