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Bee Paper Cold Press 140 Pound Watercolor Paper Pad, 9-Inch by 12-Inch (1136T15-912)
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- Watercolor paper
- Cold press
- 140-Pound paper
- Archival quality
- Neutral pH
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Bee Paper Cold Press 140 Pound Watercolor Paper Pad, 9-Inch by 12-Inch
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Watercolors act differently depending on the quality and composition of the paper. Cellulose aka wood pulp paper doesn't respond as well as more expensive cotton paper. But as I learn less expensive student grade papers have their place in exercises and preliminary sketches.
Today I decided to compare my papers side by side. I have this Bee paper, Strathmore 300 & 400 (both cellulose), Cason XL student grade and Arches cotton cold press which is considered the best paper on the market. All claim to be 140 lb weight papers. This comparison lead me to writing this review.
Of all the student grade papers, Bee is the worst. First all the other papers are clearly the same weight and thickness and didn't buckle under the smallest addition of paint. The Bee paper by eye and feel is quite thinner than the others. I even had to double check that it wasn't 90 lb and it wasn't. The Bee paper buckled with even a small application of paper that wasn't even a watery wash.
The problem with this paper (and some other student grade paper) is that even simple exercises don't come out right and can be frustrating. You may even feel like you can't master the basics. I tried doing flat wash practice and all I got was a blotchy mess. I decided to sacrifice a pricey sheet of Arches to see if it was me or the paper. My washes on the Arches were beautiful and flat. I'm not saying do all your work on the most expensive paper when you start out but do experiment with different student papers that perform better than this one.
It's hard to progress with watercolor if you never get to experience what the the medium can do. In my side by side comparisons the Strathmore 300 & 400 are much, much better in that order.
You get what you pay for.
The price of this paper is very appealing, but especially if you're a beginner, don't buy it. It's worth it to spend a little more money to get a paper that you aren't constantly fighting with. For a few dollars more, you can buy a better paper that will actually handle your washes and not warp extremely quickly. If you can afford to get Arches, which usually goes for about $15, that's the best choice, but even if you'd rather not spend that much, Strathmore is a way better choice. Whatever you do, make sure the paper you buy is 100% cotton.
I purchased the paper for a large watercolor painting for my brother.
When I got this roll I was excited by the texture and weight of this paper.
It soaks in too much water and dries with heavy wrinkles
It inhibits the flow of even heavilly flowing colors like cadmium.
This paper would work well for chalk, pastels, drawing, and other dry media only.
I'm frankly at a loss as to how I want to proceed with this project,... I will likely force it and get a lower quality piece.
i'm in love with this paper. a YouTuber turned me onto Bee Paper and it's by far the best i've used. love the texture! it's also extremely porous and does not lift. i layer my watercolors A LOT and don't always wait for it to dry before going back over it ( i know, bad form). sometimes i get in the zone and don't want to take a break from painting. every paper i have used has lifted, but this does not. i've used both the 11x15 and 9x12 paper and both are great!
Top international reviews
I found it difficult to cut but that might be me, not the paper. I would not buy it again.