I’m taking Liz Steel’s Watercolour course, and the introductory section has us experiment with paints, brushes, and paper. Having already gone down some paint rabbitholes, I found myself going overboard with paper this time! I tested nine (9) different sketchbooks.
I purchased the Hahnemühle Selection pack, which contains one page each of 12 kinds of watercolor paper. This is not every paper that this company offers (notably missing are some of their experimental papers like ‘Agave’ that I was most interested in trying); but it covers a lot of their range and introduced me to a lot of papers I didn’t know about!
Here are my opinions, admittedly formed after trying only one 7”x10” page of each type of paper.
Recently, I tried a bunch of itty-bitty 2”x3” sample-size pads to try various Legion watercolor paper options. I was especially interested in Yupo, a “tree-free” type of paper that’s totally different from typical watercolor paper. Here are my impressions.
Good paper can make a huge difference in your quality of life as watercolorist. Paper designed for other media just can’t take the amount of water that watercolor requires. Think about it: water is terrible for paper! Water makes most paper melt, tear, and break down, so you get little fuzzy bits of paper mixed in with your paint. Getting high quality paper can be the simplest path to getting great results from the paints you picked out so carefully.
When I first started shopping for watercolor paper, I was bewildered by all the specs. I’ll break it down so you can figure out what you’re buying and how it will work with your watercolor style.