What’s the difference between Hot Press, Cold Press, and Rough watercolor papers? Let’s try them out and see with a new stamp by Anita Jeram!

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I chose to stick with one brand of paper – Arches – but others do carry papers in these same textures …though not all papers are equal and should be tested! The Rough is the bumpiest texture, Cold Press is easier for more folks too work with, and the Hot Press is very flat – helpful for stampers getting a crisp line, but the color performs very differently than the textured papers. See how!

Arches Rough is one of my favorite for both watercolor pencil and watercolor itself. I love the edges that I can create with it – the big texture lends itself to it well.

Arches Cold Press is likely the most popular of all the types of Arches – it’s got a texture but not SO much, so is especially easier for those just learning to handle the paper surface.

Arches Hot Press is the flattest, it feels practically like cardstock, except it doesn’t pill up with water. For a smooth look it can certainly achieve it but the color doesn’t come across very strong. Choose darker colors when working with this paper if you want bigger contrast.

Have you tested a variety of papers? I’d be curious to know what paper you’ve decided works best for you!


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