When painting with watercolours, why is paper selection so important?

Watercolors may be painted on a variety of media, however paper has long been the most popular. It’s critical to pick the correct paper to paint on while working with watercolours. Because watercolours, as their name implies, are water-based, it’s critical to use paper that can withstand the water and provide beautiful results. There are so many options for paper, as there are for most other creative materials, that picking which type to use might be daunting.

both in terms of price and quality

Artist level and student quality watercolour paper are the two types available. The cost of artist quality is more, and the quality is higher. It’s designed for artists who want their work to last a long time; it retains colour better than inexpensive alternatives. Student quality, on the other hand, is far less expensive but of worse quality. It won’t stay as long and will eventually turn yellow. While cheaper paper may still produce stunning paintings, you should invest in artist grade paper if you want your painting to survive.

The molar

The tooth is the paper’s surface roughness. This is available in a wide range of flavours. Hotpress papers have a smooth tooth, rough or coarse tooth papers have a coarse tooth, and coldpress papers are in the middle. Beginners like coldpress sheets because they’re smooth enough to allow for detail while still allowing the paint to dry slowly. Because they are coated with little grooves that gather the paint, rough or gritty papers take a long time to dry. Since of their flat surface, hotpress papers are the most difficult of the three to work with because the paint dries faster. Vibrant colours may be achieved by painting on hotpress paper.


Watercolor paper is often made by hand, machine, or mould. Machines often produce student-quality paper, which is less expensive but has poor colour retention and is readily damaged when wet. Artist quality paper is often created by hand or using a mould. Handmade or mold-made paper is strong and long-lasting. Watercolor paper made entirely of cotton is far more durable than paper composed of wood pulp. Pure cotton paper can tolerate a variety of treatments, including scraping and scouring.


The specified weight of the paper is the weight of a ream (500 sheets). In general, the thicker the ream, the greater the surface roughness, or tooth, of the paper. It’s crucial to examine the weight of the paper because a lighter sort of paper will almost certainly require stretching. When watercolours are added to the paper, this prevents the paper from being damaged or wrinkling. Both lighter and heavier sheets are of excellent quality, although lighter paper is probably the ideal choice for novices because to its lower cost. Watercolor paper is often available in three weights: 90lb, 140lb, and 300lb. Beginners usually start with 90 pounds and work their way up to 140 pounds. Professional painters frequently use 300 pound paper.

These are just a few things to think about while purchasing watercolour paper. There’s a lot to take in, and picking the proper publication for you isn’t easy. If you’re unsure which sort of paper to use, simply read about all of the options and decide which one seems the most appropriate for your needs. If you’re still learning how to use watercolour paints, start with a less expensive type of paper to practise on, then upgrade to a higher-quality, long-lasting paper when you’re ready to work on that essential picture.