Best Watercolor Journal?

WATERCOLOR JOURNALS – There is just something special – when it comes to opening a crisp new journal and flipping through its smooth white pages.    I’ve tried a number of watercolor journals in my years of painting – but have to say I’ve never quite fallen in love with one as much as this.   


// You See I’m Quite Picky.

Yeah – you heard me!  I’m extremely picky when it comes to my paper.  Um – for crying out loud I even created a whole series just testing out a bunch of random watercolor papers from different brands.   I’ll link it below if you are interested.  With that beings said – I have several qualifiers when it comes to a good kind of paper in my book!  

 1 // 100% Cotton

My first qualifier is the paper must be 100% cotton.  After testing hundreds of papers – there just really isn’t anything like painting on pure cotton.  

 2// Smooth Tooth

My second qualifier is the paper must have a smooth tooth or texture.  Hot Press Paper – or paper that has been “hot ironed” flat is the smoothest type of paper to paint on.   I love working on smooth surfaces – since this allows me to add intricate ink and pencil details – that might get lost in an otherwise.  While Cold Press Paper is great for water control & a bit easier to work on  – I still have a sweet spot in my heart for Hot Press.    

3 // Saturation of Color

My last qualifier is the paper must be able to absorb my paints with ease – thus giving me the best coverage and color pay off!   

// The Results Are In…

After working in this journal for a month – I have to say I’ve loved every minute.  I’ve tried swatching colors – glazing and even pushed it with some wet on wet effects.   Overall, for the price – I’m extremely happy!  Is it the best paper I’ve painting on – NO.    I still have a sweet spot in my heart for 300lb paper that is in sheets.  But that is for another post.    That being said – is it the best watercolor journal I’ve worked in – YES.  If you would like to snatch one up for yourself – make sure to check out the link below. If you purchase through that link – I’ll earn a small commission! So thanks in advance and happy painting!

Paul Rubens Watercolor Journal

About Author

Hi there! My name is Carrie and I'm a Watercolor Misfit! What's a Watercolor Misfit? Well, anyone who is willing to try new things and not afraid to get their hands covered in paint! So what do you say, are you a Misfit-ian?


  • Carol Robinson
    April 29, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    Hi Carrie,

    Thank you for your hard work. I know when we don’t feel our best that it’s difficult to project a happy, perky image to the world. Yet, you come through again and again for your followers. I just wanted to assure you that it is appreciated!


  • MaryAnne
    April 29, 2020 at 4:05 pm

    Great find and thank you for sharing! Just ordered the Pink one through your link! I’m also loving the new website. Well done both of you!

  • Misfit
    April 29, 2020 at 5:16 pm

    Thanks Carol! That means so much :)

  • Misfit
    April 29, 2020 at 5:18 pm

    Thanks MaryAnne – yeah it seems when it rains it pours. Monday my website’s old theme started glitching – so had to revamp the entire website overnight. I like it better – so though it was stressful I think the end result turned out great :)

  • Elizabeth Keefner
    April 29, 2020 at 5:54 pm

    Thanks for the review! I have been so frustrated with watercolor journals. I have tried several others and had such a horrible time but I feel like I should be painting in a journal. It seems like that is what all good artists and aspiring artists do. Meanwhile I have random piles of paintings mostly on the 6×9 bee paper. It would be nice if they were consolidated into a single journal but alas I am to busy/ lazy to make my own. I will be trying this one out ASAP!

  • Elizabeth
    April 29, 2020 at 8:54 pm

    HOW DID I MISS THE PINK ONE?!?!?!? Ordered — looking forward to trying.

  • Craig Bunker
    April 30, 2020 at 9:59 pm

    Truly glad you are so picky. Great art begins with great supplies!

  • Nichole Wade
    May 2, 2020 at 2:42 am

    Extremely timely because I was just looking at an expensive Australian one and they wanted you to purchase 3 at a time! And it was cold pressed paper and not my fave. Thank you! I am putting together a travel watercolor kit so I can do more while I am out driving around. :)

  • Dalles Hill
    May 6, 2020 at 6:27 am

    Thank you so much for this helpful tip! I’ve been in transition the past year and finally settled in enough to start painting again. I was looking for a good notebook to take along on hikes. This one is Perfect! Love all your tips and style and new website ?

  • Ann
    June 6, 2020 at 10:26 am

    Thank you Carrie, I saw this video a while back and have just been able to order my journal today.
    I just want to say thank you for the amazing high quality videos, tutorials etc you do. I love all the courses that I do with you and find your advice on art supplies refreshing in that you limit what you suggest and give the reasons why you recommend them.
    I love being part of Misfitland and whilst work does not allow me to be on as much as I want I thoroughly enjoy when I do.
    I cannot wait to receive my little book tomorrow and use it with the new video re tracing onto water colour. Will use one of the deigns I have brought from your shop.
    Thank you.


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