What is Watercolor Paper Made of?

posted by Misfit
WATCH THE VIDEO TO LEARN MORE

The ability to create is a gift – that I believe we all possess.  Some sing, some write, some cook – but for me watercolor is the magic that captivates me and inspires me.    It’s a gift that I find myself constantly wanting to perfect and learn more about.   

Which is why I wanted to do this series – I paint nearly everyday – but do I really understand this magical portal in which I paint on?    This portal that makes my paints come to life?   That’s when I started asking myself –

WHAT IS WATERCOLOR PAPER MADE OF? 

& what makes it so different from other papers?  

And of course the question we all want answered – 

which paper is the best?   

It’s pretty obvious – watercolor paper is definitely different from other paper – but what makes it different?  Well, after doing some research – I learned that most papers are made with a mixture water and Cellulose fibers or particles which can be made from the bark, wood or leaves from plants.   This type of paper is usually great for writing – but not so great with water.    

Artist grade watercolor paper tends to be made with cotton fibers – thus making it more pliable and able to take more water abuse.   This is where the term “rag paper” came from.   Cheaper watercolor papers – on the other-hand – tend to be made of a mixture of wood pulp or a mixture of wood pulp and cotton fibers.   Which is more pliable than regular paper but not as good as pure cotton paper.  

SO WHAT IS THE BEST WATERCOLOR PAPER MADE OF?

Well, watercolor paper is always a matter of preference – later in the series I’ll be putting several brands I own to the test – but for now know that what you should be looking for is watercolor paper that has some form of cotton fibers in it. 

This doesn’t mean you have to invest in artist grade paper – there are some really good student grade papers that use cotton in their products and sell it for a decent price.   But – just realize you do get what you pay for – so if you really want to push your paper to the max – an artist grade will be your best choice.

READ THE NEXT POST

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HOT & COLD PRESS PAPER?

CLICK THE IMAGE TO READ THE NEXT POST

LEARN MORE ABOUT WATERCOLOR PAPER

LEARN MORE ABOUT WATERCOLOR PAPER BY CLICKING THE IMAGE ABOVE
BELOW IS A LIST OF WATERCOLOR PAPER BRANDS I LIKE

In a future post I will be comparing watercolor brands against one another with illustrations.

STUDENT GRADE PAPERS

Bee Paper Company

ARTIST GRADE PAPERS

Arches Watercolor Paper
Hahnemuhle Paper
Fabriano Artistico Paper

2 Comments

Denise March 23, 2019 at 3:35 pm

Hi Carrie, as I already mentioned on youtube several times the list with its links does not show up here on your blog. I can see both titles to the list (STUDENT GRADE PAPERS and ARTIST GRADE PAPERS) but not the list itself including all the links. Can’t you just please tell which Hahnemühle paper you used? The name? Thank you very much.

Reply
Misfit March 23, 2019 at 5:59 pm

hi Denise, Not sure why the image links don’t show up. But just in case – we added links at the bottom of the page that will work and direct you to the exact papers. Thanks for the heads up 🙂

Reply

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