I was going to write a blog post dedicated to, "Why you should invest in quality paper," but I think if you look through my Instagram photos, you'll see: art speaks for itself. The same goes for this paper. I dumped loads of water on it and it didn't pill or wear away. (Note: I'll eventually get around to talking about why I encourage investing in artist quality paper -- your work deserves it, you miss out on techniques you can't always pull off with student grade stuff, etc). When it comes down to it: it's all around just better. It looks better, sounds better, feels better. When it comes to painting, every tool is an instrument that makes its own sound, music -- its own song when it comes together. Exploration is the highlight of this discovery -- of learning what sounds appeal to us, which instruments suit us best.
I highly recommend brushes that are ready to do heavy washes with this paper -- cheap nylon synthetics will work, but nowhere near as well as a good mop brush or Kolinsky.
The paper I used was the Leonardo (280lbs) cold press. I'm pretty sure you'd have to twerk on it to get it to start pilling. Trust me, I abused it. And most paper can't stand up to my abuse. So, I highly recommend this brand. It's definitely going to the top of my shelf.
Here's a link to the really cool watercolour book (*pictured*) they sent me: Watercolour Journal
You can purchase their products here: