Both would work well, it just depends whether you want your finished piece to show the texture of the paper. I have used both with watercolour pencils and depending on the subject matter I think depends on the type of paper I prefer, however I admit that I tend to favour hot pressed in my watercolours so I have more of that lying around when I feel like using my watercolour pencils. As for brands that is a really hard question I think everyone likes slightly different ones, some people won't paint on any paper but Arches - which is awesome but out of my price range, lol. Canson's montval is a nice student grade paper - you can buy it in a large pad of 100 sheets for around $30-40 (keep in mind that I'm from Aus), most of my work both in watercolours and watercolour pencils is on this paper, it tends to be able to take a fair amount of water and sometimes a beating, lol I mean I can easily scrub it back if I make a mistake, and its cheap enough that if I stuff it up completely I am not devastated at the loss, the texture tends to be between hot pressed and cold pressed and is 200gsm. I have tried the Sander's waterford HP in the blocks 300 gsm, and it is really lovely and not as pricey as Arches. A lot of online art shops are happy to send you samples when you buy something, so this might be a way to try a few and see what you prefer. Depending on your watercolour pencils, depends how much water you need to use to completely dissolve the pigment, so keep this in mind when choosing paper, if your pencils need a lot of water you should probably stick to paper over 300 gsm so that it won't buckle, otherwise you might need to stretch the paper first, which I hate but it does help me to use up crappy quality paper. I hope this helps rather than confuse you more, choosing the right paper is always hard, and often you try a few bad ones before you find one you love. All the best
good girl jess. thaat is right. you know, i like cold pressed or even rough!
i love the texture.
but i like hot pressed for detail work or pen and ink.
arches is wonderful.
daler-rowney is good too.
so is strathmore. all the BIG NAMES are good of course! lol.
but yes, it is up to the individual and good student grade, like canson (i use aquarelle), is just fine.
Thanks for your advice , Jess and Michele!