Strathmore has a Sketch book that is excellent. I am in the process of drawing roses, and sharing the results on my website. I believe paper quality makes a piece shine quietly. This is 60 lb. paper.
There is another book of paper that would have a rougher, quality to it. It might be better to use the rough, paper if you are working with rocks, and trees.
There are things you can do to make the water look more, real. Dad didn’t finish telling me all he knew in art, but I did listen, and I did use his brushes, and paints for the times I went over for an art, lesson. He helped me for two, years, and frankly that is a small amount of time for someone who has had little or no, training in the fundamentals of art past year one. I did take Art Structure at UTC in our town, and I worked very hard to do all my teacher wanted us to do. I took another course there, and I learned much.
You can imagine not having much schooling, and still wanting to convey what you have in your heart, mind, and soul? You can order Art magazines that will help. I have done this, but presently I have none coming to me. I pick up a pencil, and draw. Then I fill it in. I might draw the same thing for weeks, and then one, day I am ready to do the finished painting.
I can paint,now, because I know the subject. Many are more, talented than I am, and if they spent the time that I do, their work would be known around the world. I paint until I am finished with the subject. Then I rest the work for a little, while. I come back to it to see if it looks like what I was trying to draw. My sister was pleased that I was painting, but she would laugh out loud when I first started. Her talent kept me from taking art classes. When she died I had taken a few. She was the youngest, with extreme talent. I believe she paints in Heaven.