Re: Watercolour paper poll
Being a very loose painter who tends to change direction mid painting at whim, and exploring full range of effects and surprises, my choices wont apply to all, most especially those faint of heart. Certainly not for those who aren't ready to toss out 'this try' and start over!
Artist quality papers Fabriano soft press. Hot press never seems to give me enough surprises, rough is fun but fights me for texture. Canson 100,-- 2 different textured sides.
I also love dearly student grade papers of canson montval, and now Richeson Studio and grab for those as often as my other papers. LOVE Nujabji extra rough, looks like leather,--must be treated before painting on as it is waaaay too absorbent.
Never had luck with Saunders Waterford/Kilimanjaro as they suck the paint in and I cant make as many changes. Strathmore Aquarius synthetic blend is lovely--I can leave a painting for months, and still move the paint around when I get back to it.
I do preliminary sketches with water soluble ink and I need it to wash away when I hit it with water.
I like sizing and absorbency resistance to the point of treating my paper with a mixture of acrylic medium and watercolor ground at times. Interestingly, I find that the newer Golden Matte Fluid acrylics makes an acceptable ground for watercolors. The Matte finish has removed the plastic-y smoothness and it works more like a watercolor ground. I sound like I would love Yupo, but I don't, it's unable to be anything other than what it is,--slippery ALL the time.
A word on student grade papers above,--fantastic, but methodology is different, because they are more easily scarred, lifting is done by wetting and blotting, or light pouncing and blotting. You certainly can scrub to lift, but only once or twice before the paper pills.
all of the above: just the way I do it for fun (and profit), fully realize most people don't like this method!