Whether you’re a student artist or just perfecting your craft, watercolour pads will be your go-to surface. Renowned for their texture, these painting pads are suitable for watercolour paints, watercolour pencils and gouache paints. Even on the first application, your paint will look bright, intense and vivid. And with a smooth application, you’ll have precise control over your brush strokes.
Want to make your watercolour even more portable? Opt for a watercolour painting journal. Coming from Moleskine, these journals are made of heavy 200gsm heavy cold pressed paper, and range from pocket size (9x14cm) to A4.
At Art to Art, you can also find individual watercolour paper sheets and watercolour paper rolls. Shop watercolour painting pads online and get free shipping when you spend over $100. You can also get same day dispatch and buy now, pay later with Afterpay.
What is a watercolour pad used for?
Watercolour pads are used for watercolour and gouache paints. They come in a range of sizes and are portable, making them great to use while on the go.
What is the best watercolour paper pad?
When it comes to watercolour painting pads, we recommend the following:
- Saunders Waterford 100% Cotton Paper
- Arches 100% Cotton Paper
- Canson Montval
- Mont Marte
What is the difference between a watercolour pad and a watercolour block?
A watercolour block is a watercolour pad of paper that's bound on all sides with a rubber coating. You paint on the top sheet, and then remove it after it dries flat. A watercolour painting pad, on the other hand, is just bound on one side.
Cotton vs wood pulp watercolour papers
- Cotton paper: the finest watercolour papers are made of 100% cotton. This paper is highly absorbent, has an excellent texture and remains at peak saturation longer to give the artist plenty of time to work on larger areas. Although more expensive than other ranges, cotton papers can make a huge difference in your watercolour work and are well worth the investment.
- Wood pulp watercolour paper: these watercolour pads provide excellent quality paper at an affordable price. This sturdy, durable watercolour paper is designed to stand up to repeated washes and all sorts of artistic experimentation, but the pulp is not as strong as cotton and is also acidic. Wood pulp has to be chemically treated during the manufacturing process to make the paper acid free.
What does the paper weight mean?
- Lightweight 185gsm: generally used for small size works. It needs stretching.
- Medium weight 300gsm: the most common. Offers a great thickness that can stand up to most applications of paint and water.
- Heavy weight 650gsm or more: ultra thick sheets that can withstand layers of paint or water application. Doesn't need to be stretched.
What are the different watercolour paper textures?
Smooth (hot pressed): a super smooth surface that is the least absorbent paper. Washes can turn out uneven, but it gives a nice juicy look. Best suited for lifting and corrections and highly detailed work. Brush work has to be light and delicate. This is the best paper for retaining the vibrancy of colours.
Medium (cold pressed): offering a mid texture and medium absorbency. Washes come out almost as good as rough paper. Lifting and corrections can be done, and it can take most of the aggressive brush techniques as well. A good amount of detailed work can also be done. Vibrancy of colours is good as long as glazes are kept to a minimum. Works well with all painting consistencies, from very diluted to undiluted.
Rough: the roughest texture and the most absorbent. The surface traps watercolour pigments, creating an even watercolour wash. Best for dry brush techniques, not great for lifting and corrections. Best suited for aggressive brush techniques, not for highly detailed works as the surface texture does not allow small details to be painted in the correct shape. Colour vibrancy is not the best on rough paper. Works well with all painting consistencies, from very diluted to undiluted.