I’m really picky when it comes to paper – it has to have a certain texture as well as absorption strength that fits my preferences. Watercolor is already hard enough – so why make it harder by painting on a poor quality paper. So below is a list of the watercolor paper brands I’ve come to love over the years.
Bee Paper (especially this journal) is my favorite student grade paper to paint on. It’s inexpensive – but also quality since it’s made with 100% cotton fibers. Since making my series on watercolor papers – it’s sold out alot on amazon. So if you find it pick it up ?
Recently, I’ve been switching back and forth between Arches and Fabriano watercolor paper. This is paper can be pricey – but it’s a quality artist grade paper that has less tooth (or bumps) when compared to Arches.
I’ve been using Arches cold press paper for years. And it’s always my fall back paper when I’m going to be painting alot of wet on wet. My alone complaint is the tooth is a bit more bumpy than I prefer. But other than that it’s still a fav or mine.
This is the most expensive paper I own. It’s heavy duty and feels more like thick poster board than paper. I use this paper sparingly for large paintings that need a good deal of water. But for every day – it stay in my storage due to price.
Lately, I’ve found myself more drawn to hot press paper than cold press – bit be aware it’s more difficult to control your water on this paper due to the lack of tooth or bumps. So I wouldn’t recommend this to an absolute beginner. However, I’m including it on this list because this is one of my go to papers when painting small illustrations that I need to digitize or photograph.
This is my favorite sketchbook to draw in! I’m been using it for years and personally love being able to fold it back with it’s spiral binding. I also love that it comes in a variety of sizes – which I can use for travel or in the comfort of my house. I prefer the larger sizes – but often slip a smaller one inside my purse when traveling.
IF YOU ARE CURIOUS ABOUT WHY I CHOSE THESE PAPER – MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT MY PAPER SERIES ON YOUTUBE. I’VE INCLUDED SOME VIDEOS FORM THE SERIES BELOW.