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Watercolor paper is the source of light for your artwork. Good quality paper is fundamental to the joy of painting in watercolor, allowing washes to lay down smoothly. On top of that, paper is the most significant part of any painting, and good quality watercolor paper is more durable than canvas or many other traditional supports. But if you’re new to watercolor paper then it can be useful to know what characteristics to look out for when choosing your paper.

Whatever paper you decide to use, the best type of paper ​for watercolor painting should be 100% cotton, acid free and Ph neutral. As a beginner, I also recommend that you use cold press paper with a weight of at least 140lb/ 300gsm.

I’ll explain the reasons for this choice below, but if you’re looking for the best paper to get started, I recommend Arches 140 lb, 100% cotton, cold press watercolor paper.

Arches paper is one of the most durable and reliable supports ​I’ve ever used. 

This paper holds all the necessary characteristics for good quality watercolor painting and the subtle texture is excellent for detailed work. Washes lay down smoothly, colors blend beautifully, and it can withstand many layers of paint and the results will still look great!

Arches make beautiful supports, physically strong with a beautiful texture in all finishes. Personally I find it a joy to work with compared to other brands of paper that I’ve used in the past.

Arches watercolor paper