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  • Writer's pictureJane

Buying 'better' Watercolour Paper

Are you thinking of getting more watercolour paper? Not sure where to start? There are so many to choose from but in this blog post I have narrowed it down to three, at different prices and quality. I must start out though by saying I haven't tried all of the ones I suggest but will tell you how I chose them and why.

You may have heard me in class mention how much watercolour paper can make a difference to your painting and it really does but spending a lot on watercolour paper starting out is not really going to help. Acrylic painting, on the other hand, can be applied on many types of papers and so the quality of paper is not so crucial.

The biggest difference with top quality papers is wet-in-wet. Colours flow and mingle (you do need slightly better paints for this too).

As there are many types of weights, sizes and even whites to watercolour paper you might want to check out Jacksons article and then decide the link for their article is here

Below are my choices, with prices at the time of writing.

At No. 1

If you want a better result with your paintings (better quality paints complement the paper too) then buying top watercolour paper is a must. Aim for a heavier paper for all categories listed here meaning the weight should be above 200lb, A4 size (roughly) for class. (You can cut them in half for A5) You will find all of the weights etc listed on the papers or websites. Heres one of the best Saunders Waterford blocks

This is currently around the £23 mark, it is gummed all the way round, no need for tape! I have used Saunders Waterford for a long time, buying the big single sheets. You get beautiful results

At No 2

Jacksons own watercolour blocks. I have chosen this as they have quite a lot of smaller sizes which make them affordable, I haven't tried these. I am a little wary when they say for acrylic and other mediums but the weight seems to be ok heres their description

Jackson’s Watercolour Paper is ideal for use in the studio or for creating work on the go.

The 300gsm Natural White watercolour paper is internally and externally sized, and is made with lignin-free wood pulp. Acid-free and vegan-friendly.

Jackson’s paper range includes loose sheets and blocks for watercolour, oil, and acrylic, and each paper is designed to provide excellent adhesion for each medium. Each block contains 15 sheets.

Starting at just £3 it might be worth trying out a few. Bear in mind that 'smooth' is generally better for pen and wash, (see the Jacksons guide to watercolour paper above) allowing the pen to glide better. This paper has had a five star and a bad review, so perhaps start small!

At No 3

Although my last pick, I would say that getting some of these small sample packs is invaluable. I have tried them before, they are a big enough size for class and you get to experience the various weights, whites and brands all for £2.30 at time of writing (limited to 5 packs only!) Definitely recommend.

I hope this helps, also if you are just starting out I would recommend buying the best you are able to afford with perhaps number 2 and 3. Happy painting!


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