I had the chance to check out some watercolor paper made by Hahnemühle, and it's pretty awesome. Usually, I use cold press, 140 lb rough, and didn't think I'd ever use another brand besides what I currently use, but Hahnemühle delivered some nicely textured paper that's perfectly suited to watercolor.
The first one I tried was their Cézanne brand, which is a nice medium weight paper with enough roughness to show the white sparkle that watercolorists love so much. It holds washes nicely, and has a unique texture. I used it to paint NYC, going uptown & Study After Edward Seago.
My all-time favorite though, is the thick Leonardo paper, it's SO luxurious and I feel almost guilty painting on it :D This stuff doesn't buckle because it's such a sturdy paper at 240 lb. I could probably paint endless washes on this one, and still never damage the surface. Check out the painting above (Study after H.B. Brabazon), where I used a bunch of washes for the tree & foliage, but there's no matte or muddy quality to it. Pretty nice!
I used the Leonardo for this one as well, and had a fun time painting this in "one go" - without letting the paper dry.
I also tried out a Hahnemühle sketchbook, which is the perfect size for travel. I brought this to the beach this past weekend and made the painting below. It doesn't have much texture, which is totally cool for those on-the-go sketches, and the washes bleed pretty nicely to give you that "wet" effect.
If you're looking for some watercolor paper to start with, or to try something different, definitely check out Hahnemühle. You can't go wrong with either the Cézanne or Leonardo styles.
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