Watercolor paper is specially designed to for watercolor painting. Learn about the types of watercolor paper in this free art lesson video.
Watercolor paper. Some people use drawing paper, but drawing paper is not sized. Sizing is a special process where it allows the paper to do two things. One is to work wet-on-wet without the paper falling apart. On standard drawing paper, if you do wet-on-wet with lots of water, the paper will fall apart, but not so with watercolor paper. Also, you can do continued scrubbing up to a certain point with watercolor paint. Whereas with drawing paper, it will start to bead up and be damaged so that its look is not real good. But for small projects that you're not going to make any changes on or not do any wet-on-wet, then drawing paper is okay. And you should be tearing rather than cutting your paper. And the way you do that is you fold it like this, and then back and forth several times, crease it, and then when it's weak here, then you'll want to tear it on a sharp-edge surface like this. That way it will have what we call a "deckle edge." Now to start with, you'll want to use a watercolor pad because they're inexpensive. You can get them under $10 for 10 to 20 sheets. Several brands out there. I'm not going to tell you which way to go because everybody likes the texture of a different brand. If you're going with larger sheets, you can go with a 32 by - I'm sorry, a 22 by 30 sheet, which is called a "full sheet" of watercolor. And there are several brands of that available. And it's generally a better quality, and made from 100% rag cotton, and it does even better than watercolor pads do as far as holding up under wet-on-wet and under scrubbing procedures. There's also watercolor blocks. Watercolor blocks are really great because they stretch the paper and keep it stretched while you're painting on it, and then you just disconnect it from the rest of the block using a dull knife, and then you have a separate sheet. So the stretching helps you, helps the paper when it starts buckling.