I recently bought a block of the Bockingford 20 sheets 1/4 Imp HP. Some how I am struggling with it, i.e which watercolour paint to use with it. SAA or Winsor Newton half pan paints, Daler Aquafine. Whenever I apply paint to the paper, I get hard edges. Wet washes don't always work this paper. I need to use a magnifying glass to see which side of the sheet is the right painting surface. Please advise me!
Watercolour papers can vary and different techniques will work differently on different papers.
You mention that you have purchased HP paper, this is a very smooth paper. This type of paper allows the paint to sit on the surface a little longer and hard edges can occur. You can use a piece of kitchen roll and dab it on the wet paint to try and create a more diffused edges.
At the SAA we understand that it is difficult to find the right type of paper which will suit your style. So, we offer trial packs so you can try a sheet of many different types of watercolour paper.