Strathmore 400 Watercolor PadWhen you're first getting started in watercoloring, you might think paper is paper. Heck, when you're writing a letter you can write that letter on white paper, colored paper, textured paper, and other papers, and it doesn't matter much. Just why is paper important?
Perhaps in watercoloring, more than most other art forms, the paper is quite important. With oils, acrylics, and many other styles of artwork, the ink doesn't soak much into the paper. You don't have to worry much about the color spreading halfway across the page before you know it. However, with watercolors, this can become a real possibility. Watercolor is water-based, and the color seeps right into the paper - quickly. Especially if you brush the paper first with water, which is one technique for watercolor painting, the color can flash across the paper more quickly than you can imagine. It's part of the beauty and fun of watercolor.
So if you haven't tried different styles and weights of watercolor paper, my first recommendation would be to try it. Get a selection of various papers, weights, and styles. Don't think of them as "better" or "worse" than each other. They're just different, like blue is different from yellow, which is different from red. They have different textures and characteristics. They work fantastically in different situations.
I'm very pleased with this Strathmore series 400 watercolor paper. You get 12 sheets of 11 x 15 paper, spiral bound, with an easy to detach perforation. The paper is 140 lb. This is like a thick, textured construction paper. I use this for greeting cards, and it's a bit thicker than a traditional greeting card. It takes a little more effort than normal to fold. There's a subtle texture to the surface. If you're seeking smooth-as-silk surfaces, this won't be it. However, if you're seeking a surface that gives you natural ridges and valleys, this is the one you want.
There's a thick cover and a very thick backing to help protect the paper when you carry it around. It's bigger than a large book, but still small enough to tote along if you're going to paint on location somewhere.
I suppose if you need absolute perfect edges for your paper, the fact that you're perforating it away from the spiral bound edge might bother you. But for most of us, we mat and frame our works, so that won't matter.
I purchased two packs of this paper for my own watercolor projects, with my own funds.
Buy the Strathmore 400 Watercolor Pad from Amazon.com
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