Watercolor Paper – My Favorites

Watercolor Paper is in my opinion the most crucial supply to my entire watercolor supply list. This is why I put alot of thought into what papers I paint on and why I use them. Below is a list of the papers I love and my thoughts on each.


Bee Paper Company Watercolor Paper Journals

MY THOUGHTS: This is by far my favorite student grade watercolor paper – and the reason for this is it is made from 100% cotton. However, that being said – I don't really like Bee Paper's watercolor paper pads – but their journals are amazing. I use this paper for experimenting and swatching – since it's the most affordable of all the papers I own.


Arches Cold Press 140lb Watercolor Paper

MY THOUGHTS: Anything Arches I've always loved. I use this paper for illustrations that don't require alot of water. This is more wallet friendly of an option for me for those less intense paintings.

Arches Cold Press 300lb Watercolor Paper Block

MY THOUGHTS: This is by far my favorite paper to work on at the moment – but be warned it is pricey. So I reserve this paper for special projects only.

Arches Hot Press 140lb Watercolor Paper

MY THOUGHTS: Recently, I've been playing around with more Hot Press paper and still find myself drawn to Arches. I love to use this paper for illustrations that need to be digitized (or photographed) since it doesn't show the bumps on the paper. I also love to use this paper for intricate ink and pencil line work.


Fabriano Artistico 140 lb. Cold Press Watercolor Paper Block

MY THOUGHTS: After exploring many different brands of papers during my YouTube Series – I stumbled upon this brand and have recently been falling in love. As I mentioned in the series – It's a bit finer of a tooth (or less bumps) compared to Arches cold press paper. So this is a paper – I'm exploring and playing around with more recently.

Fabriano Artistico 140 lb. Hot Press Watercolor Paper Block

MY THOUGHTS: This is another watercolor paper – I've recently been playing around with. Recently I've found myself more drawn to Hot Press Paper and just wanted to test out a couple of brands as the year progresses.


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?


  • Joan Canning
    June 6, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    enjoy your you tube an this blog is great for referencing your suggestions. Fabriano Artistico 140 lb. Hot Press an Cold Press Watercolor Paper presently using an enjoy both. Always wanted to try Arches starting with 140ib , have been saving up, its very expensive in Canada. Its on my wish list. Thanks for your detailed video it does clear up a lot of questions when ones not to sure how certain papers will react. Have a good day

    • Misfit
      June 6, 2019 at 2:29 pm

      THanks Joan! So glad it helped :D

  • EdieB
    June 20, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    Love Arches 140lb Block and just purchasedFabriano Artistic Block and a pad but haven’t use them yet. Love your YouTube and the Exploring Paint Ratios Course and now your Blog Larning a lot and enjoying my paint more. Thank You

  • Roberta Leidal
    July 5, 2019 at 7:38 pm

    Is there a difference in the ‘toothiness’ of hot vs. cold press paper?

    • Misfit
      July 9, 2019 at 4:13 pm

      Yes! Hot press is know for having no tooth (or a smooth texture) similar to mixed media paper. While cold press is known for having a bumpier or heavier tooth. Rough paper is the bumpiest and most textured paper of all three types :) Make sure to check out my YouTube series on paper for more info :D

  • Roberta Leidal
    July 11, 2019 at 11:26 am

    Thank you for the info. Do some watercolorists prefer the smoother paper? What type of painting subjects would lend themselves to hot-press paper?

  • Chrisi
    August 17, 2019 at 2:51 am

    I’m pretty new to watercolor and I am learning so much from your videos. I really enjoyed your series on watercolor paper. I like how you don’t just tell what you like, but why to help us determine what would be best for us to try. You mentioned purchasing single sheets of watercolor paper, where do you find single sheets. I have looked on Amazon and have not been able to find any.
    Thank you for everything you put into creating your beautiful and informative videos.


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