Working in Watercolor involves using a lot of water. If you put a fair amount of water on a light weight (less than 140 lb/ 300 gsm) sheet of paper, you will see it start to curl.
Heavy paper can absorb more water and doesn’t need stretching.
Heavy paper can be very expensive, but in my opinion is always preferable.
After experiencing different types of paper, I stopped my choice on Arches Watercolor Paper.
Arches Aquarelle: the paper chosen by professional artists since 1492. This heavy weight paper (I’m using 650 gsm weight) is made of pure cotton according to the ancient technique and characterised by a natural grain. This process makes paper more stable, which deforms very little when wet, thanks to a better distribution of the long cotton fibers.
This paper is also great because of very high resistance to scraping and an exceptional color rendering.
I’m using large wooden board (several inches larger than the paper) and fix the paper on the board using the paper scotch tape.
Some artists are used to staples, but I’d avoid destroying painting surface with holes.
When the painting is finished and it’s completely dry, I remove the tape, leaving nice white boarders.
“The impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.” —Annie Dillard