Originally Posted by CharM
I use Arches 140# cold pressed or rough. I like both the natural white and and their bright white. I prefer rough for most of my paintings because I like the deep tooth that allows for lots of texture. It seems to dry more slowly, also. Either the cold pressed or rough are great all purpose papers that can take a lot of abuse.
I use Saunders Waterford 200# cold pressed paper. The Centre where I teach watercolour orders this paper for our Students. It's really nice because it doesn't buckle easily. However, I'm not as much a fan of the creamy warm white colour of the paper.
I use Curry's 200# cold pressed paper, also. I think that it's manufactured by Saunders Waterford as it behaves and looks very similar.
I have a wonderful little Stonehenge pad that's velvety in texture, similar to hot press, but not quite as slick. It's great for quick sketches.
I have played with Terra Skin, which is a synthetic *paper* manufactured from pulverized stone. Yes, you read that correctly. It's considered a *green* product. It is bright white with a very slick surface that's similar to yupo but has a little more drag when you run your brush over it. You couldn't glaze anything on it even if you wanted to and colour lifts back to white very easily.
Since I participated in this poll the first time around, my choices have changed and expanded.
I bought 100 sheets of Fabriano Artistico 140# cold pressed paper because it was on sale for $2.93 per sheet. Since I offer this paper to my Home Students at my cost, it was a no brainer.
But, what I found was that it has a lovely moderate tooth, a slick surface that lifts easily and a soft texture. After introducing it to my Students, they also have come to love it.
I was able to order a sample of GarzaPapel, handmade watercolour paper, that has three different surfaces. It's a beautiful, beautiful paper. Albeit, it's expensive... but I use it to create Gift Cards in 5x7" suitable for framing.