So I’m not going to lie, when walking into
a store to purchase watercolor paper, the options can be very overwhelming. And that’s not even to mention the prices
that go along with these papers. In this series, so far we’ve talked about
what watercolor paper is made of, and how the texture of the paper can affect your artwork. But what about weight? And specifically does painting on 400lb watercolor
paper actually make a difference? So I was really curious when I was purchasing
different brands and watercolor paper in general online for this series. I noticed while I was scrolling down the page
that there was a sheet of arches watercolor cold press paper, that was 400lb weight. Now, I have painted on 300lb weight before
and I was very very curious what is the difference between 300lb weight and 400lb weight, because
to me painting on 140lb weight compared to 300lb weight was a huge difference. So was it a bigger difference when painting
on 400lb weight? That is what I really wanted to learn in this
particular video and this study that I’m going to be doing today. Now, for those of you who are new to watercolor,
you might have noticed when you’re purchasing your watercolor papers, these numbers on your
packaging. And basically the common weight numbers for
watercolor paper would be 90lb weight, a 140lb weight and 300lb weight. Now, the lighter the weight, you’re going
to see more buckling or warping, especially when you’re using water. And the higher the weight, the less buckling
and less warping you’re going to see while you’re painting. So for this particular video, I wanted to
paint the same illustration four times and I wanted to paint it on 90lb paper, a 140lb
paper, 300lb paper and 400lb paper and basically see what the difference is between all four
of these. And if 400lb paper actually does really have
a difference compared to especially the 300lb paper. Now for this study, I purposely used a ton
of water and I also use masking fluid, because I’ve noticed in the past that using a ton
of water and also masking fluid can very easily warp your paper and overwork your paper. So I wanted to use the two things that I feel
like can easily damage your paper in this study and really push them to the limit. And these are my thoughts from this particular
study. So first off, let’s start with a 90lb weight
paper. Personally, I stay clear from anything less
than a 140lb weight, and I will especially be staying clear from anything that’s 90lb
weight after this study. I personally do not like 90lb weight paper. I know there are some artists who can work
on this paper perfectly fine, but for me, I always feel like I am fighting the paper
and it’s just not an enjoyable experience for me. And I always feel like when I get done with
my painting, it’s never exactly what I saw in my head. So it’s just a very frustrating experience
for me when I’m painting on this weight of paper. I also want to note that the masking fluid
did not adhere well to this paper. It created these really weird lines around
the edge and kind of pulled the paint underneath the masking fluid, which is never a good thing
when you’re trying to use masking fluid and also it kind of damaged and ripped just slightly
my paper when removing it. So my final thoughts for this particular paper
is it’s ok for doing watercolor studies that don’t require a lot of water. And that is basically because it can easily
be overworked. It’s very hard to correct mistakes on and
it really does not do well with wet and wet at all. The next paper in our study is 140lb weight. This paper I grew up painting on and have
used for years. Although you do need to be aware, when you’re
painting on a 140lb weight, it is prone to warping, especially when you’re using a lot
of water. So it’s very crucial to learn water control
when working on this particular paper. And also really planning ahead because it’s
easy to overwork this paper if you’re trying to correct mistakes, especially with lifting
paint or adding more paint while the papers already wet. It can easily be damaging to your paper, which
can ultimately affect your final illustration. Now, although this illustration in my opinion
looks really nice on camera, I do want to say towards the end of this illustration I
really felt like I was fighting the paper, which is never a good thing when you’re trying
to paint an illustration. I also found that the masking fluid did not
adhere as nicely as I would have liked. So I had to do some cleanup of the edges,
which is fine. I’ve done that in the past and I usually use
some white ink to kind of just work those edges out. But my final thoughts for this particular
paper is it’s a great beginner paper and in my opinion the best weight for learning watercolor
on. I use this particular paper all the time when
I’m experimenting with new techniques, but just be aware, it does not hold up well if
you’re using large amounts of water, specifically if you want to play around with more wet and
wet backgrounds that are heavily saturated with water or even pouring techniques. So that is just something to keep in mind. Now let’s talk about 300lb weight paper. In my opinion, this paper is always a dream
to paint on. It’s super thick and it holds up very nicely
to heavy water usage and it doesn’t warp very easily. It’s also really great for just absorbing
the color nicely into the paper and really allowing me to create smooth washes in my
illustrations and also allow me to correct mistakes without damaging my paper. So in my opinion, this paper is one of the
most forgiving options that you can use as a water colorist. Also, since this paper is thicker, you can
apply a lot more layers or glazing to this paper for really rich deep illustrations. Another thing that I really like about this
paper is working with masking fluid with this paper is like a dream. It had nice smooth edges around the masking
fluid. it adhered to the paper very nicely and it
also removed like a dream. So this particular paper is one of my favorites
to actually paint on. And finally, the paper that we’ve all been
waiting on, the 400lb weight paper. Now I have to say during the whole painting
process, this particular paper I never felt like I was actually fighting it, it actually
felt more like it was working with me the entire time. Some of the positives of painting on this
paper that I found during the process was it accepted color like a dream. It just seemed to absorb it like a sponge. It also really allowed me to push the paper
a lot further with the wet and wet techniques, and it also allowed me to correct a couple
of mistakes that I made without really any issues. So overall, this painting was absolutely amazing
to play around with. I absolutely loved the whole experience. But I do want to say one negative that I found
while painting with this particular paper is that the wait time after I would paint
one layer seemed a lot longer compared to the other papers. So that is something that I learned that I
would hope to relay to you if you ever get to paint on this particular paper. Now that I’ve kind of given you my thoughts
on each paper I want to talk about what paper do I feel is the most worth it paper from
today’s study. And does painting on 400lb paper actually
make a difference. Well, first off, heck yeah, it does. Painting on the 400lb paper was really cool. It was a huge difference even between the
300lb weight. And in my opinion, if you ever get the opportunity
to paint on this particular paper, do it. It was so much fun and I really enjoyed the
experience. That being said, though, my two most worth
it papers personally based on my particular painting style would be the 140lb and the
300lb weight papers. That being said, though, if you really want
to paint with a ton of water, especially I think if you’re doing more pouring techniques
or a lot of wet and wet techniques, I personally think the 400lb paper would be better of an
option compared to the other three. And I know that this particular paper can
be super pricey. So a way to save money when purchasing this
paper is exactly what I did. I would recommend buying this in a sheet and
then cutting it down into smaller portions. So this particular sheet of paper cost me
around $22, but I could easily get three more paintings out of this sheet. ao a total of like four paintings I could
get from this one particular sheet of paper. Which I’m totally going to be doing in the
future, I am definitely going to be playing around with this paper while I have some extra
in the upcoming weeks. So if you want to kind of see my progress
as I’m painting on a 400lb weight paper, please make sure to follow me on Instagram and kind
of see my explorations with this 400lb weight paper. I really want to try painting some people
on it, especially with some nice wet and wet techniques. We’ll see how that goes in that exploration
part of it. But anyway, that is it for this particular
video. Hopefully you got to see the differences between
the four common weights of watercolor paper and can make a better decision of what would
work best for you and your future painting projects. Lots of love y’all and I will see you in the
next video.