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  • Writer's pictureJane

Watercolour Paper - demystified!

Updated: May 18


If you are looking to buy new watercolour read this blog post, it has direct links to loose paper packs now on offer (not sure how long they are on offer for though). You can order online and have it delivered.


With a range of paper it can be overwhelming as there are so many brands, types, weights and so on, confusing to say the least. Here are two good all rounders for class which you can also cut down to size gaining more paper for your money.


What type of paper:


A Description of Watercolour Paper Surfaces

Watercolour paper is available in 3 textures, although there are some pads and blocks that are not available in all 3 textures, so it is worth having a look through what is available in each range.


What is Hot Pressed Paper? - not used in class so much

Hot Pressed paper tends to be favoured by artists that like to work delicately and with a lot of subtle detail, for example botanical artists. It is the least textured surface, and is completely smooth as it is pressed between 2 hot metal rollers. It is also favoured by artists who will want to reproduce their watercolour on smooth paper.

What Does ‘Not’ mean? - the one used most in class

Not and Cold Pressed paper amount to the same textured surface – this is the name given to paper with has a slight tooth to it. It is the most popular surface for watercolour painters as it allows for a little texture in your work, as the paint will sink a little into the dimples on the surface of the paper, but it will also be sympathetic to some detailed work. It is made by pressing through the cold metal rollers. It is thought to be the easiest watercolour paper surface to work on.

Rough surface paper - not used in class so much but still interesting

As one might expect, rough surface paper is the roughest texture paper available. It is pressed between sheets of textured felt during the drying process, which is why it has a felt like texture. The heavier ingrain of texture means that granulating (irregular colour application) effects are enhanced. This paper surface is not recommended for those interested in detailed work and is more suited to bolder, more expressive painting techniques.

For more info, and there is a lot see their link https://www.jacksonsart.com/a-guide-to-watercolour-paper

I have chosen two watercolour paper packs (10 sheets) which are, currently at the time of writing 21 Sept 2023 Jacksons on offer, they are good value as well as being a good weight (meaning you can wet the paper well), well worth exploring:-


Not Paper


Pack of 10 sheets in Not Texture (1/4 imperial) which can then be cut in half, good price

Fabriano Artistico watercolour paper is mould made and is produced with 100% cotton. It is chlorine and acid-free, guaranteeing long conservation and inalterability over time. The paper is sized both internally and externally, making it ideally absorbent and retaining its nature unaltered even if scratched. This paper is traditional white, without optical bleaching.

Fabriano Artistico watercolour papers have two deckle edges and are watermarked ‘FABRIANO+ARTISTICO’ on the short grain side. The high quality and ample offer of this paper satisfies the requirements of all professional artists and the most demanding amateurs.

Ideal for watercolour, tempera, gouache, acrylic, ink, charcoal, graphite and drawing. Fabriano Artistico is also suitable for printmaking.

See the link below to purchase this paper


Rough Paper

Also pack of 10 sheets (1/4 imperial) which can then be cut in half, good price Fabriano Artistico watercolour paper is mould made and is produced with 100% cotton. It is chlorine and acid-free, guaranteeing long conservation and inalterability over time. The paper is sized both internally and externally, making it ideally absorbent and retaining its nature unaltered even if scratched. This paper is traditional white, without optical bleaching.

Fabriano Artistico watercolour papers have two deckle edges and are watermarked ‘FABRIANO+ARTISTICO’ on the short grain side. The high quality and ample offer of this paper satisfies the requirements of all professional artists and the most demanding amateurs.

Ideal for watercolour, tempera, gouache, acrylic, ink, charcoal, graphite and drawing. Fabriano Artistico is also suitable for printmaking.

Link to buy is below.


best wishes Jane



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