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Look for paper that is acid free, because this means the paper does not contain chemicals that will degrade the sheet and cause yellowing.
Arches paper is a brand of air-dried paper that is used by printers and watercolorists.
It has a warm white colour and is produced in hot-pressed, cold-pressed, and rough varieties.
Also, the tougher surface is good for techniques such as lifting out, sponging and scratching through the paint layer without damaging the surface. To begin with, buy one or two sheets of one of the popular 140lb (300gsm) CP/NOT papers, such as Arches Aquarelle, Bockingford or Saunders Waterford.
All of these are reliable, good quality, acid-free papers that will suit most subjects.
The weight is an indication of the thickness of the paper.
So, you could expect a 72lb (150gsm) paper to be light and thin, while a 400lb (850gsm) paper will be much thicker and more robust.
Paper is made from two main ingredients: cellulose fibres (found in plant material such as cotton, jute, hemp and wood pulp) and water.
Most of the popular papers, such as Arches, Bockingford, Cotman, Langton and Saunders Waterford, are machine-made, on a cylinder-mould machine.
It will easily indent if something heavy is placed on it, and it will even pick up marks from your fingers – so handle with care!
This top of the range fine white watercolour paper possesses a natural whiteness.