When selecting watercolor paper, there are several key factors to consider:
Weight: Watercolor paper comes in various weights. Lighter weights are suitable for practice and sketching, while heavier weights offer better durability and are ideal for finished artworks. I usually use a 140lb.
Texture: Watercolor paper can have different textures such as cold-pressed, and hot-pressed. Cold-pressed paper has a slightly textured surface that is versatile and popular among most artists, its my favorite. Hot-pressed paper has a smooth surface, suitable for detailed work and illustrations.
Quality: Look for archival-quality paper that is acid-free and made from 100% cotton or high-quality wood pulp. Archival paper ensures your artwork remains vibrant and does not deteriorate over time.
Absorbency: Consider the absorbency of the paper, which affects how the paint behaves. Highly absorbent paper allows for more control over washes and layering, while less absorbent paper keeps the paint on the surface longer, allowing for easier lifting and blending.
Brand and Price: There are various brands of watercolor paper available, each with its own characteristics and price points. It's essential to experiment with different brands to find the one that best suits your style and budget.
Overall, the best watercolor paper for you will depend on your personal preferences, painting style, and intended use. Experimenting with different types of paper can help you find the perfect fit for your artistic needs.