Live Demo 11 Oct 2020—Choosing Watercolor Paper (and do I really have to stretch it?)

Photo showing the beginning of the process of tearing watercolor paper. Roll the corner underneath; pull away from the crease at a 45 degree angle.
All about choosing the best paper for you and your way of working. And, the definitive answer to that perennial question: "Do I really have to stretch my paper?"

What’s the difference between “student-grade” and “artist-grade” (professional) watercolor paper? And how do I know which is which? What’s the best brand? Surface? Weight? Do I really have to use the expensive stuff? And (please, please!) is there ANY way I can get my paper not to buckle WITHOUT stretching it? If I do have to stretch it, what’s the best way?

Ahhh, the paper controversy. Especially the “do I have to stretch it” paper controversy. You’ll learn how find the right answers for you in this demo!

Video Description:

NOTE: I’m in the process of moving my videos from YouTube to Vimeo. I’m trying to update descriptions and links as I move things, but there are a lot of videos, so I may miss some changes. If you notice a broken link, I would be grateful if you could let me know what video description it was in (otherwise I might not be able to find it to fix it!).

Things to consider and some simple tests to do in your studio to help you quickly decide whether a particular paper is right for you now.

This demo is aimed at beginners, or those with a bit more experience who are not happy with the paper they are using, or have shifted directions and want a way to assess whether a particular paper is going to be worth considering for their work. If you like the paper you are working on, I am not trying to persuade you to change papers, and I will not be doing a round up of “cool papers you really oughta try.”

This demo isn’t a side-by-side comparison or product reviews. That’s already been done far, far better than I ever could by others. Here are some to get you started:


A wonderful video from Jill Poyerd comparing professional-grade papers: https://youtu.be/DZhswCAM32Q

And two others in the same vein:

This demo is also not solely focused on a side-by-side comparison of student vs. professional grade watercolor papers. I do have some of each to demonstrate the testing process with, but again, that particular comparison has already been done really well:

Jill Poyerd: https://youtu.be/Ug2igUQ9OTg
Steve Mitchell (The Mind of Watercolor) https://youtu.be/zEC0-PRmw10

I will talk about the characteristics of paper (fiber content, sizing, etc) only enough to orient beginners. If you want more detail, please “ask Uncle Google”. I don’t have the expertise to answer most of those questions.

Two exercises that are a good test of how a paper behaves are my Eggs in a Glass Bowl postcard video and Project 2 from Watercolor Jumpstart (including the lesson videos).

The other videos in this series, in case you missed them, are here:

What’s on Your Palette?
Choosing Brushes for Watercolor

Demo Notes Handout

Summary Spreadsheet of Papers Mentioned in this Demo

Closeup Photos of Paper Textures Below (does not include the pre-printed postcards)

You may also like . . . 

Live Demo 13 Sep 2020—Choosing Brushes for Watercolor

Live Demo 13 Sep 2020—Choosing Brushes for Watercolor

Which brushes do you really need? What sizes? Synthetic or natural bristles? Is Kolinsky sable really worth the expense? I’ll answer questions like these, demonstrate different types of brushes and explain pros and cons, and share which brushes are my “go-to” brushes now and why I chose them.

read more
Live Demo 9 Aug 2020—What’s on Your Palette?

Live Demo 9 Aug 2020—What’s on Your Palette?

A lot of people have asked me to talk about what brands of paint I use (most of them!) and what colors I have on my palette (way too many!). I’m always at a loss, because I am constantly playing around with the colors on my palette. I’m just as much of a sucker for a cool new color as the next person. Isn’t that just part of the fun of watercolor? 😉 But it’s time to take a stab at answering the REAL question, How can you decide which colors to have on your palette?”

read more
Jul 2019:  Finding Focus Working on Location

Jul 2019:  Finding Focus Working on Location

some strategies I use to manage the overwhelming amount of information when painting on location, so sketching enhances my enjoyment, instead of raising my stress level. And so I have a better chance of coming back with photos and sketches that I can actually use to create satisfying, personally meaningful paintings.

read more
X
Welcome to Our Website
Welcome to WPBot