Collection: Watercolour Paper

If you know what you are after, scroll down for the pads. If not...read on!

Buying watercolour paper, if you are new to the medium, can be tricky, primarily due to the confusing terminology regarding thickness (the weight of the paper) and the finish. I am quietly convinced that most of these terms were invented at about 4pm on a Friday afternoon, when everyone was thinking about knocking off and going to the pub.

Hopefully, this will clarify things! Firstly, the surface differences:

Hot Pressed. This is a smooth paper suitable for botanical work, where crisp, fine detail is required. During the manufacturing, the paper is sandwiched between heated plates (like a large iron) which is what gives it the silky smooth finish.

Cold Pressed. (More commonly known as Not. As in 'Not Hot Pressed') As you can see, this is the name that gives the most confusion. It has a slight texture which is perfect for a lot of watercolour styles, and is probably used by the majority of painters. 

Rough, as the name suggests, has a greater texture than the others, and is suited to a looser style of work. It works well where a 'hit or miss' technique is used, as the brush only touches the raised part of the paper; think of sunlight on water or foliage on winter trees. Also, it finds favour with colours that granulate (a slight separating of pigment, where the darker, heavier part sits in the pits and troughs of the paper)

Now, clearing up the numbers!

Thickness of paper is classified by two weighing systems: The weight in grams per square metre (gsm) and pounds per ream of paper (lb). Pads usually give weights in both options, which can add to the confusion, but once you understand the classification, it's easier to work out. To give an example...your average printer paper is about 80gsm. That means, a square metre of printer paper that thickness will weigh 80g. A ream of printer paper that thickness will weigh 37.5lbs.

The following list gives the main weights of watercolour paper firstly in gsm, and then the equivalent in pounds.

300gsm  = 140lb

425gsm  = 200lb

535gsm  = 250lb

640gsm  = 300lb

The most common mistake is that people mix up the grams and pounds, asking for 300lb, when they want 300gsm.

* A ream of paper is 500 sheets.

** There are 'long' reams and 'short' reams, but unless you work for a paper manufacturing firm where such things are crucial to your everyday working life, I would stick to the 500 sheets.

Click on the images below for the full range of each design.

13 products
  • Hahnemeuhle Harmony Hot Pressed Watercolour Paper
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    from £5.40
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    £6.35
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  • Hahnemeuhle Harmony Cold Pressed (Not) Watercolour Paper
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    from £5.40
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    from £5.40
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    £6.35
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  • Hahnemeuhle Harmony Rough Watercolour Paper
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    £6.35
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  • Hahnemeuhle Expression 300gsm Cold Pressed Watercolour Paper
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    from £13.20
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    from £13.20
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    £15.50
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  • Bockingford Glued Pads 140lb Hot Pressed
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    from £7.77
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  • Bockingford Glued Pads 140lb (300gsm) Not
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    from £7.77
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  • Bockingford Spiral Pads 140lb Hot Pressed
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    from £8.92
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  • Bockingford Spiral Pad 140lb Not
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    from £8.92
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  • Bockingford Fat Pads 140lb Not
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    from £11.66
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    from £11.66
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  • Bockingford Fat Pad 200lb Not
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    from £18.15
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  • Hahnemeuhle Watercolour Postcards
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    £8.50
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    £8.50
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  • Hahnemeuhle Watercolour Book
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    from £9.85
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  • Hahnemeuhle Toned Watercolour Book
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    from £12.20
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