Not gonna lie – when walking into a store to purchase watercolor paper – the options can be overwhelming (not to mention the prices). In this series so far – we’ve talked about what watercolor paper is made of and how the texture of the paper can effect your art work – but what about weight?
Especially if you are going to stretch your paper anyway? I was really curious.
You’ve probably noticed the numbers 140 lb/300 gsm – this isn’t talking about the quality of the paper – but rather the weight of a paper from a specified ream or stack of papers. The lighter the weight the more buckling and warping you will encounter – the higher the weight the thicker the papers and less as a result less warping.
The 4 basic weights of watercolor paper is 90lb, 140lb, 300lb, and 400lb. Which is what we will be comparing in today’s study. In the study I will purposefully be using a ton of water and also using masking fluid to see how it paper fares with both of these obstacles.
Does painting on 400lb watercolor paper actually make a difference?
Well first off – heck yeah it does! Painting on 400lb paper was so cool! If you have the opportunity to paint on it at least once – do it! That being said – my two most worth it papers personally for my style of painting would be the 140lb and 300lb weight papers. Especially considering that I can get these pre-stretched in blocks – which would eliminate the warping issues.
That being said – if you want to paint anything with a ton of water and push your watercolors to a new level – painting on 400lb paper is the way to go. And to save money – I would recommend buying it in a sheet – and then cutting it into small portions. This sheet cost me around $22 and I could easily get 3 more paintings out of it. Which I’m totally going to be doing in the upcoming weeks – so make sure to follow me on instagram if you’d like to see those explorations.
Anyway – that’s it for this post – hopefully you got to see the differences between the 4 common weights of watercolor paper and could make a decision for yourself of what you would like to paint on in the future!