Watercolour Papers: Hot Pressed vs Cold Pressed vs Rough
Texture and paper are very important decisions for all artists, especially for watercolour artists. However, there are so many options and names that it can get confusing so we're going to break down the basics by exploring cold pressed and hot pressed watercolour paper.
Cold pressed paper is made by pressing the sheet through cold metal rollers creating texture on the surface. This is popular, go-to paper for watercolour. Cold pressed paper is more absorbent than hot pressed paper as the paint sinks into the little bumps and dimples on the surface.
Hot pressed paper is made by pressing the sheet through hot metal rollers to eliminate the textured surface. This means the paper is smoother and so it's better suited for small and fine details. Hot pressed paper is less absorbent so paint washes end up sitting on the surface for a longer time.
Rough paper is as it's called the roughest paper available to you. It's made by pressing the sheet between sheets of textured felt as it dries. This is best suited for expressive and loose painting styles as the heavy texture of the paper will allow you to get the most granulation out of your watercolours.
It's important to note that the amount of roughness and texture will vary depending on the brand as their manufacturing process may differ and other factors.
Ultimately there is no wrong choice. Both will result in a beautiful art piece. It just depends if you're looking to have extra texture and character added to your piece, then it's best to use cold pressed paper. But if you want a more smooth and versatile surface that can also be with pen, ink and graphite, it's best to use hot pressed watercolour paper.
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Cold pressed watercolour paper:
Hot pressed watercolour paper:
Rough watercolour paper: