Cold Press Watercolor Paper

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Watercolor Paper and Pads

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What’s the difference between hot press and cold press watercolor paper? And what does it mean when a watercolor paper is sized?

    Hot press watercolor paper has a smooth surface, while cold press watercolor paper has a slightly raised, bumpy surface. Rough watercolor paper has a surface that has even more texture. A "not" watercolor sheet is “not hot press,” and the term is often used instead of cold press. The decision comes down to which surface you prefer for the type of watercolor painting you practice. Sizing is often added to make a watercolor paper more water-resistant, keep it from absorbing too much moisture or pigment, and maintain the brilliance of watercolor paints or inks. Internal sizing is added while the paper pulp is still in a liquid state, while external sizing is applied to the surface of the paper after the sheet is formed and dried. Some papers are both internally and surface-sized.