Watercolor paper is available in hot and cold presses. Sometimes manufacturers will make soft and rough textures also. For colored pencil, hot press is usually the one artists will choose. A cold press watercolor paper can often have very deep valleys that are difficult to fill even when using solvents or burnishing.
Watercolor papers are treated to stop the absorption of water into the paper while the water and pigment stay on the surface. This is known as sizing and it refers to how water-resistant the paper is. Gelatin is used to create this resistance. The higher the size level, the less moisture will be absorbed by the paper. Sizing is performed either internally, while the paper is in the vat; or externally after the sheets have been formed and dried. Sometimes both methods are used. Sizing is either brushed, sprayed or the final sheet of paper is soaked in a tub. Gelatin is used to create this resistance. The higher the size level, the less moisture will be absorbed by the paper.
Any paper that is not sized, referred to as waterleaf, can only handle the smallest amount of water, if any at all, before pigment bleedthrough occurs or the paper starts to fall apart.
Fabriano paper is mold-made with 100% cotton, chlorine and acid-free. The paper is sized both internally and externally. Sheets are available in hot, cold, and soft presses, as well as rough. Fabriano Artistico Extra White Watercolor Blocks
are glued on four sides, with the exception of one corner so that you can lift the sheet when finished painting.
Arches Bright White Watercolor paper is acid-free, pH-neutral, gelatin-sized and air-dried. It features two deckled edges, two waterline edges and a watermark. Arches papers are also available in Blocks