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How do you choose Watercolor paper? | How do you choose Watercolor paper?

by Judith Joosten 06 Sep 2017

The range in the shop is increasing, just like the chance of choice stress ;). More expensive does not always have to be better and the favorite of your source of inspiration is not necessarily your go to. To help you with your choice of materials, I will write about an article every week. This could be about the specifications of one specific item, how to use it. Or, for example, a comparison of different materials. At least one blog of this will be online per week. I'll start the series with information about watercolor paper.

Differences in Watercolor Paper

It's so difficult to buy paper from the internet! Or from packaging while you cannot feel the paper. By feeling you can quickly estimate the quality. There are quite a few tricks to determine whether the quality of the paper is good or whether the paper type suits you. In this blog I will try to explain it. There are a number of terms that indicate the quality of paper. Because there are so many types of paper, these terms are always neatly stated! You have undoubtedly seen this before. I will explain the following terms to you:

  • Cold and hot pressed
  • Student vs Artist quality
  • Weight
  • Acid-free
  • Ph neutral
  • Material: Cotton vs cellulose

Cold vs Hot pressed Watercolor paper

The biggest difference in watercolor paper is in hot or cold pressed paper. Hot pressed is always very smooth, think of hot as hot/ironing. Cold pressed paper has more structure in the paper. I deliberately left the photo a bit darker, hopefully you can see the structure of the paper clearly.

Hot pressed watercolor paper:

There is almost no structure in hot pressed paper (on the left of this photo). This type of watercolor paper is best suited for detailed work. You also do not have to take into account that the ink or paint will flow through the structure. Because there is less structure in the paper, the paper also absorbs less paint/water. The ink dries less quickly, which gives you more time to play with the paint. Because there is no structure in the paper, you will not be bothered by shadows. This will make the colors you used appear even brighter.

Cold pressed watercolor paper

With Cold pressed paper (right in this photo) you get a structure in the paper. The structure may differ per type of paper. The structure is indicated in ****. This structure allows the paper to absorb more water and faster. In general, this type of watercolor paper is the most used and recommended for beginners.

Student vs Artist quality

You have probably heard of the terms student and artist in the materials you use. These terms refer to the quality of the materials. Student quality is a bit cheaper because the quality is also there. Slightly different materials and techniques are used, which means the paper can be cheaper. This type of paper is great for experiments and basic watercolor painting. Artist grade is obviously a bit more expensive because the quality is also better. With watercolor paper, this difference is mainly reflected in the amount of water used. With Artist grade paper you have fewer limitations in the paper and you can really use it to the max.

Weight

The thickness of the paper is linked to the amount of water the paper can absorb. 240-300 gram paper also ensures that your paper does not immediately warp as soon as you use a lot of water. Thinner paper is often cheaper and great for practicing on.

The grammage of paper is the weight of paper per square meter. So it is not 300 grams per page. For example; If you buy a block of paper with 300gm paper, the thickness of the paper makes no difference with a block of 10x15 or 20x30.

Acid free & Ph neutral

Acid free and Ph Neutral paper is always recommended, this paper does not discolour if it is exposed to sunlight for a long time.

Material: Cotton vs cellulose

The most common materials used are cellulose and cotton. The same goes for watercolor paper. Paper with cotton absorbs the most water.

And a final note: you have watercolor paper in different shades of white. For example; extra white, natural white, white and cream. The standard is white and if the color differs, this will be indicated.

What types of watercolor paper do I sell? I sell the finest brands of watercolor paper; Arches, Fabriano and Strathmore. They all fall into different price ranges, so there is a suitable type of paper for everyone.

To briefly mention the differences between the watercolor paper from the shop: Strathmore 200 is the most budget-friendly version, Arches is Hot Pressed (Artist), Fabriano is somewhat thinner paper of Artist quality, Strathmore 300 is thick watercolor paper with a handy ring binder.

Do you have any questions? Please leave them in the comments, I always try to answer them as quickly as possible!

Love,
Judith

[lang2]

The range in the shop is increasing, as is the chance of choice stress ;). More expensive does not always have to be better and the favorite of your source of inspiration is not necessarily your own go to. To help you on your way with your choice of material, I will write about an article every week. This could be about the specifications of one specific item, how to use it. Or, for example, a comparison of different materials. At least one blog per week of this comes online. I start this series with information about watercolor paper.

Differences in Watercolor paper

It's so difficult to buy paper from the internet! Or from packaging while you cannot feel the paper. By feeling you can quickly estimate the quality. There are quite a few tricks to determine whether the quality of the paper is good or whether the paper type suits you. In this blog I will try to explain all of it. There are a number of terms that refer to the quality of paper. Because there are so many paper types, these terms are always neatly stated! You have undoubtedly already seen this one. I will explain the following terms to you:

  • Cold and hot pressed
  • Student vs Artist quality
  • Weight
  • Acid-free
  • Ph neutral
  • Material: Cotton vs cellulose

Cold vs Hot pressed watercolor paper

The biggest difference with watercolor paper is in hot or cold pressed paper. Hot pressed is always very smooth, think hot or hot / ironing. Cold pressed paper has more structure in the paper. I left the photo a bit darker on purpose, hopefully you can see the texture of the paper as well.

Hot pressed watercolor paper:

So there's almost no structure in hot pressed paper (left in this photo). This type of watercolor paper is best suited for detailed work. You don't have to take into account that the ink or paint will run through the structure. Because there is less structure in the paper, the paper also absorbs less paint / water. The ink dries less quickly, so you have more time to play with the paint. Because there is no structure in the paper, you don't have to struggle with shadows. This will make the colors that you used appear even brighter.

Cold pressed watercolor paper:

With Cold pressed paper (right in this photo) you get a structure in the paper. The texture may differ depending on the paper type. The structure is indicated in ****. This structure allows the paper to absorb more water, faster. In general, this type of watercolor paper is the most commonly used and recommended for beginners.

Student vs Artist quality

You have probably missed the terms student and artist with the materials you use. These terms refer to the quality of the materials. Student quality is a bit cheaper because the quality isn't as good (but it's still good quality). Slightly different materials and techniques are used, which can make the paper cheaper. This type of paper is great for experiments and basic watercolors. Artist grade is of course a bit more expensive because the quality is also better. With watercolor paper, this difference is mainly reflected in the use of the amount of water. With Artist quality paper you have fewer restrictions in the paper and you can really use it to the max.

Weight

The thickness of the paper is linked to the amount of water the paper can absorb. 240-300 grams of paper, ensures that your paper does not immediately warp if you use a lot of water. Slightly thinner paper is often cheaper and fine to practice on.

The grammage of paper is the weight that paper has per square meter. So it is not 300 grams per page. For example; If you buy a block of paper with 300gm paper, the thickness of the paper makes no difference with a block of 10x15 or 20x30.

Acid free & Ph neutral

Acid free and Ph Neutral paper is always recommended, this paper does not discolour when exposed to sunlight for a long time.

Material: Cotton vs cellulose

The most common materials used are cellulose and cotton. The same goes for watercolor paper. Paper with cotton absorbs the most water.

And a final note: you have watercolor paper in various shades of white. For example; extra white, natural white, white and cream. The standard is white and if the color deviations, this is indicated.

What types of watercolor paper do I sell? I sell the finest brands of watercolor paper; Arches, Fabriano and Strathmore. They all fall in a different price range, so a suitable type of paper for everyone.

To briefly mention the differences of the watercolor paper from the shop: Strathmore 200 is the most budget-friendly version, Arches is Hot Pressed (Artist), Fabriano is somewhat thinner paper of Artist quality, Strathmore 300 is thick watercolor paper with a handy ring binder.

Do you have any questions? Do ask them in the comments, I always try to answer them as soon as possible!

Love,
Judith

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