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Watercolor paper Guide

Many people have been asking about watercolor paper lately and I have realized how important for every beginner is to learn how to chose, because picking the wrong watercolor paper might ruin your learning efforts. This is my attempt to write a comprehensive guide containing the most basic facts about watercolor paper, hoping this will help some of you.

:frail: Besides that, I want to say Thank you, DeviantArt , for being SO awesome and posting two of my watercolor eye tutorials on their official :facebook: page, along with the unique experience of Q&A yesterday evening. I really felt the kind of appreciation I wish for everyone's hard work to meet. ❤


With any questions, don't hesitate to comment or note me :)

sources: Painging, How to draw and paint, Painting/Drawing
brands of paper: W&N, Fabriano, Canson, Hahnemuhle

:bulletblack:Other tutorials that might come in handy:
Simple watercolor tutorial: Eye study by jane-beataWatercolor eyes in flesh tone tutorial by jane-beataWHITE GEL PEN tips and tricks by jane-beataWatercolor Autumn Portrait Tutorial by jane-beata


Watch me paint on YouTube

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© 2012 - 2021 jane-beata
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orselis's avatar
With latest invention of Golden Qor Cold Pressed Watercolor Ground you can paint on virtually any surface that accepts ground. It creates cold-pressed surface, eliminates the need to stretch if used on hard surface such as wood or canvas panel and when you smooth out the ground in last layer of prepping, you can get HOT surface too. I love paper but watercolor ground made me jump the first time I used it on wood panel :XD:
TokyoMoonlight's avatar
I was helping someone with questions around watercolor paper and guided him to you. And I had to read this tutorial again too. It helped me a lot! :D (Big Grin) 
The best part was the last paragraph you wrote, "I had very bad experience with Koh-I-Noor ..."

My personal experience:
In summer I bought some of their popAquarell watercolor pads...and...3 paintings were great the 4th was a disaster. :( (Sad)  

The 4th time I was wetting the paper and added wet color and then little "dots" started to appear. Heavily. Now I know that this paper doesn't like too much water. Just one drop of water too much and you are can throw it in a trash can. Waaaah! 

But...I'm still using it :) (Smile)  (it would be a waste Shrug , I have 2 more pads to use B-) (Cool) ). I only have to be careful to wait to one layer to dry and not to rush othervise I would stress the paper to much.

An example:
The BAD one (the dots are on the whole picture, but scanned they are now mostly wisible in the under part of the painting)…

And a GOOD one…

So if you survive Koh-I-Noor watercolor paper you should have no problem with others Giggle 
Just don't do the wet-in-wet. Then you're basically ready to jump off a cliff. I am a dummy! 
Sooo helpful, thank you!
SomniVision's avatar
Great info, thanks for sharing this. What do you think about Yupo synthetic papers?
Shinzhon's avatar
Thanks. THANKS A LOT. 
naniicat's avatar
This was very, very helpful, thank you for your effort!
juanbauty's avatar
Willlake's avatar
artisvast's avatar
Thank you so much!
miu333's avatar
Thank you. :3 It really helped me. ;)
roren001's avatar
Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. You're the best!!
bottled-mermaid's avatar
Thank you very much for this tutorial!
Understanding watercolor paper is not easy for beginners like me, and this tutorial is very helpful :)
Sallock's avatar
Thanks for all the info!
azeemb's avatar
very helpful thank you :aww:
DevilPanties's avatar
Fantastic information. Sometimes you find out what materials to use just by trial and error and this confirmed that I was heading in the right direction!
jane-beata's avatar
Indeed, that is very true :)

Thank you for reading!
plumes7278's avatar
this one was the most appreciated, because i'm at the beginning with watercolors ;)
praveenkoduri's avatar
jane ! i too started my water colors ! ! but i really in aware of which water colors to use !! can u suggest me plz
jane-beata's avatar
It depends on what is available at your place, or you can order on Amazon. I use Schmincke Horadam, but Winsor & Newton are also a great standard way.
crazydolce's avatar
how do you buy the schmincke paint? i went on the site but it only shows pics of sets not prices?
praveenkoduri's avatar
thank u :) :) soo much :) :)
andowa's avatar
thanks for sharing :D
SquirrelGirl15's avatar
Super helpful!!! THANKS!
locodela's avatar
This is wonderful!
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