Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What Is Watercolor Paper, and there textures?

Watercolor paper is produced in various weights from 90 lb. (light-weight Thin) to 300 lb. (very heavy-weight Thick). This refers to the weight of 144 sheets, not a single sheet. Heavy-weight papers will not need stretching or taping down when painting, no matter how wet you paint.

Most watercolor papers are pre-treated with sizing when they are in the pulp stage. Sizing of paper is similar to gesso on canvas, as it makes the surface less absorbent. This can be an advantage or disadvantage depending on your preference.

There are three different surface textures of watercolor paper available: hot-press, cold-press and rough. This texture is determined by how the sheet is flattened during the manufacturing process. Cold-press is the most popular finish for watercolor paper, but many artists also prefer rough paper as it makes texturing relatively easy, and, oddly enough it is easier to do a smooth wash on most rough papers.

I personally prefer (cold press) it’s not too smooth or to rough. I find that with smooth surfaces it can be difficult to layer paint, while with the rough it’s next to imposable to have fine detail.

The photo on top is your visual guide to the surface textures in watercolor paper

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