All of our watercolor papers are mouldmade of 100% cotton rag, and "sized" as to be ideal for water mediums, or for any application requiring strength and absorption resistance.
Sizing is often added to the surface of Watercolor papers in the form of gelatin. This gelatin layer helps alter the absorption of the paper, making it ideal for watercolor techniques.
Many Watercolor Papers are available in different surface textures such as Hot Press, Cold Press and Rough. Although brands of paper will use the same terminology, there are great differences between surfaces from different Paper Mills.
Rough: Is the most textured, or toothy, surface. It has a coarse or bumpy texture that will draw paint, inks or media deeper into the surface and can result in a more grainy or heathered look.
Cold Press: Has a textured surface, but is not as toothy as Rough paper and has more of a texture than Hot Press. This surface allows for traditionl watercolor effects such as letting paint puddle and settle down into lower spots as well as dry brushing over the high points in the surface. Cold Press is the most common and popular surface used by Watercolor painters.
Soft Press: Soft press is a surface texture unique to Fabriano. It sits between the roughness of Cold Press paper and the smoothness of Hot Press paper with only a slight tooth. It's versatile enough for both detailed and expressive painting, as well as calligraphy, drawing, and printmaking.
Hot Press: Smoothest surface with very little to no tooth. Paint will not sink into the surface less, and it will dry faster. Hot press is great for illustrations, fast paintings and large washes of color. It also ideal for highlighting fine line work as the smooth surface will not complete with the line quality.
To figure out which paper is right for you, it is helpful to experiment with a variety of papers to see which works best for your process!