Choose the right watercolor paper

After you have selected your Watercolors based on my previous tips, you need to buy the right watercolor paper for painting. I have covered the following topics below:




Let's Go

Choosing the right paper & why: People ask me, why is it so important to choose watercolor paper? Can’t we just paint on any paper that we have? Choosing the right paper for watercolor painting is as important as choosing the right ingredients for making a particular dish. People get frustrated when they start painting with watercolor, just because they didn't choose the right paper. Any thick paper or chart paper or regular drawing book paper will NOT work. The main differences between a normal paper and a watercolor paper are; the surface texture, the thickness of the paper and the property to absorb water. Watercolor paper has a specific thickness due to which it can hold more amounts of water and will not pucker or rip like other papers with the same amount of water. You'll see the difference as soon as you start using it.

[I use Anupam and Brustro watercolor sheets]


Camlin Watercolour set

Right Thickness: It is measured in GSM which stands for 'Grams per Square Meter'. It determines the capacity of the paper to hold water. My suggestion is to start with at least 200gsm. If you want to paint using wet-in-wet technique, then you need at least 300gsm or more.

[I mostly use 200gsm & 300gsm sheets depending on the type of painting]



Right Size: You get various sizes of watercolor paper – A2, A3, A4, A5, etc (where A5 is the smallest). I suggest you start with A3 which is around 16 inch by 12 inch paper. This size painting looks good enough on framing too. A4 and A5 are very small especially if you want to do some detailing. Also you can always try to paint 2 or 4 paintings on a single A3 sheet by partitioning it, if you really want to paint a smaller one. Once you have a grasp of paintings, you can even buy A2 size watercolor sheets (size similar to Engineering Drawing sheets) for bigger paintings. Or you can use the A2 sized sheet to make multiple smaller ones by cutting them into different sizes as per requirement. It is definitely more cost effective, if you are ready to do the extra effort.

[I buy A3 & A2 size sheets]


Loose sheets or Pads: You get watercolor paper as loose sheets as well as in the form of a pad or book. Advantage of using a pad is that you can keep them organized at one place. Advantage of using loose sheets is that they are cheaper than the pads.

[I always used to buy A3 size watercolor pads with 20 sheets each. But have now started buying loose sheets as I anyways keep them in separate folders] Market Survey and Reviews: If you want you can try to do a market survey of all types of brands of watercolor paper available locally. Check their reviews & then purchase the best suitable. But never go for the cheapest ones. Always ensure paper thickness. And if you still feel confused, go by my recommended ones. [I have tried other brands with same thickness & size mentioned, but still the quality was not at all satisfactory. They were very thin which warped so easily. The brands I suggested are tried and tested by me. I have more than 150 paintings created on these sheets and they are just excellent quality]

Recommendations: I have collated all these suggestions based on my personal experiences which I thought would help beginners. Some are tips which I felt would have helped me a lot if I knew them when I was a beginner. Some are points that I realized when I take workshops and students do not get the desired effect because their art materials were not right. Hence I started writing these tips so that it might be helpful to someone like you who has just started painting or are facing problems in a specific area. [Please try to use these tips as much as you feel adequate]


For any queries, you can ask in the comments. I will be happy to help.


Art Materials (Affiliate*)

❣️For Beginners :-

Watercolor Pads A3 200gsm Brustro

Watercolor Pads A3 200gsm Anupam

Watercolor Pads A4 200gsm Anupam

Artist Watercolor Tubes 5 ml 24 shades

Brushes Camlin set of 4

White round Palette big

File Folder A4 size


❣️For Advance :-

Watercolor Pads A3 300gsm Brustro

Watercolor Sheets A4 300gsm Brustro

Artist Watercolor Tubes 20 ml 12 shades

Nevskaya Professional Gouache Colors

Brushes Brustro set of 15

Sakura White Gelly Roll Pens - Fine, Medium & Bold

Palette Brustro Folding Box with 33 well

File Folder A3 size


❣️Materials to make own frames :-

Transparent plastic rolls

OHP A3 size

OHP A4 size

Mount Board

Corrugated Cardboard Roll

Fevicol Squeeze bottle

Chart paper

Blue Tac Faber Castell (Tack-it):

-90 pieces

-180 pieces

Acrylic Black

Acrylic Pearl Metallic

Flat Brush


*"I only recommend products that I actually own and use. Some of the above links are affiliate links, which means I may get a small commission at no extra cost to you."


Useful Blogs :

Choosing the right watercolors

Choosing the right watercolor paper

Choosing the right art supplies

Create Unique Watercolor Textures

Zero Cost Frames (DIY)

Benefits of Canvas Prints

Learn to Paint Tulips


Painting Tutorials :

How to Paint Tulips | Watercolor | Gouache 😍 #tulips

How to paint a rose & dew drops in watercolor - step by step

Easy Watercolor Bookmark for Beginners 1

How to paint watercolor DEW DROPS for beginners

Translucent Watercolor Floral painting for beginners

Watercolor|Landscape Painting1[Dazzling Dean Park]


Visit my Online Art Store

Join my group for FREE art workshops

Check out my exhibits at India Art Festival

Join me on Instagram

Meet me on Facebook

Link with me on LinkedIn

Mail me on : 23shilpijay@gmail.com


30 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All