Give Yourself Permission to Use High-Quality Watercolor Paper

Give Yourself Permission to Use High-Quality Watercolor Paper post image

Are you waiting to use high quality watercolor paper for that time when you feel you know how to paint?

When I first started to paint in watercolor, I bought cheap paper and always ended up discarding most of my paintings because they didn’t look good. I didn’t feel I was making any progress and was discouraged.

A pivotal point came when one day I decided to paint on a piece of professional-quality, 100% cotton, watercolor paper that I had been “saving for that day”. When I placed this treasured piece of paper on my drawing table, I realized within minutes of laying down those first layers of color that working with quality paper was what I had been missing all along.

It was an eye-opening experience and from that moment my watercolor painting began to significantly improve. Giving myself permission to use good quality watercolor paper was a key part of the “how do I get better at this”  puzzle. 

High quality paper for watercolor is made of100% cotton, it is quite sturdy and can handle many techniques well. Arches paper (140lb Cold Press) is the paper I use for most of my work, and  I highly recommend it as a good paper to start with. 

Buying 22 x 30 inch sheets of paper, or paper in rolls, is an economical way to make your paper purchase. These large sheets can then be cut into smaller individual sizes. For my classes I recommend cutting a 22 x 33 inch sheet into pieces that measure 7.5 x.7.3 inches.

Here is a video describing an easy way to divide large sheets watercolor paper.


{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Nell February 9, 2020, 12:16 pm

    Thank you for the video showing how you cut your paper. I always purchase my Arches watercolor by the sheet. Not only does it seem to have a better surface for painting than the blocks, but I can cut it to whatever size I want.

    • Leyla Torres February 10, 2020, 5:49 pm

      Very true, Nell. I like the texture of the larger sheets better too!

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