The watercolor painting highly depends on the paper quality. Compared to cheaper paper, the quality cold-press paper absorbs and holds multiple paint layers and can stand up to heavier brushing and paint removal without tearing or pilling. This paper is more suitable for a loose painting style, not detailed artwork. There are two grades of watercolor paper: artists' quality and students' quality. The artists' quality, known as archival paper, is acid-free. Likewise, the paper must be acid-free because the acidic paper will turn yellow and break down quickly. If you want to save your painting for decades, you need to use acid-free paper. The cheaper paper does not mean it's not a good paper to practice. If you're a beginner or just practicing, the students' quality paper is for you.
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