Deborah writes; Hi Lisa, I saw a couple of your video where you airbrushed the background. I noticed you used 140lb hot pressed watercolor paper. I recently bought 140lb cold pressed watercolor paper. What is the difference between hot and cold pressed? Is there a reason to use hot pressed instead of cold pressed when using an airbrush for the background for a colored pencil drawing?
Watercolor paper comes in three main types; Rough, Cold Pressed and Hot Pressed. Each will give you different results and work best with different mediums depending on your goals.
Rough paper is going to have the most tooth of the three. This will give you a grainy, more gritty look when using it with colored pencil, graphite or airbrush so I never use it for these. It has so much texture that it’s hard to get color into all those nooks and crannies with anything other than watercolor.
Cold Pressed is going to have less tooth than the rough, but still more than most like for colored pencil, graphite or airbrush. It’s not AS hard to get color into the paper, but more than most prefer. This is one of the most common paper types used for watercolor though.
Hot Pressed has nearly no tooth compared to the other two. It is very smooth making it easier to get the color into the paper with colored pencil, graphite or airbrush. You don’t end up with the grainy gritty look like you would with the other two. It’s easier to get fine details with this as well. For airbrushing we want a smooth surface because the paint will catch on the ridges of the paper giving you uneven results unless you’re just plastering the paint on like a house painter.