View Full Version : question about paper

04-23-2003, 05:00 PM
Hi everyone!

Just had a question or two about paper.

The paper I am using is CANSON, I can't find much on it in the way of opinion (it was all that was available at the local art store). It is 140lb cold press. I'm not sure I like it all that much but I can't put my finger on why. I haven't used anything else.

Question 1: so does anyone have experience with canson paper?

Question 2 : I ordered a full sheet of cold press, arches I think, do I just cut it with scissors in order to get it down to a half sheet?

thanks from a watercolor idiot :rolleyes: :p (hey there should be an "idiot's guide to watercolor!" :D ;) )

04-23-2003, 05:12 PM
I don't know anything about Cranson paper, but as far as cutting your full sheet, I can tell you what I do. I just fold it in half and crease it, and then fold it back the other way. I do that several times until the paper at the crease is considerably weakened and then I tear it. It gives it a sort of a rough edge that looks (a bit) like a deckle.

04-23-2003, 05:13 PM
I have no experience with Canson, but also use Arches CP 140lb, and like it. You can cut it, but our atr teacher taught us to bend it several times and then tear. The sheet has irregular "deckled" outside edges that come from the paper-making process, and by tearing it you get a similarly irregular edge. But it does not matter if you will mat the piece anyway.



04-23-2003, 05:14 PM
(hey there should be an "idiot's guide to watercolor!" )

....There is!!!!!! .......It's called Wet Canvas! LOL!
Well, it has certainly taught this idiot alot anyhow!:)

Can't help with your Canson query but I would imagine you are right about cutting the arches or maybe even tearing it for a nice effect?:confused:

I am sure you will find the Arches a dream to work with!

04-23-2003, 05:20 PM
You might want to check out this page:


He does not have Canson, but lots of information about other papers...



04-23-2003, 05:32 PM
thanks very much, everyone!!

I will try bending the paper, not cutting. It is 300 lb, too (the sheet, not the canson - the canson is in a block).

Martin, I already checked out that page, but thanks :) . I have read a lot on different types of paper, but no info anywhere on canson?? I wouldn't have known it existed if it wasn't the only thing at the art store. :rolleyes:

so no-one has heard of canson watercolor paper?

maybe I'm in a weird dream :p

Bill J
04-23-2003, 05:34 PM
Cutting paper. We use archers cold press 140. Fold the paper in 1/2 take a hacksawblade and rip the parer with that in a sawing motion fold again and repeat. Now you have 4 nice 11x15s with a saw tooth edge. Use your husbands old dull blade and keep it in your paint box. btw wrap one end of the blade with masking tape for a handle.

04-23-2003, 05:39 PM
I've heard of Cranson watercolor paper. I've even seen it advertised in a catalog (Dick Blicks I think). I just have no experience using it. I fell into a 90% off sale on Windsor and Newton paper and I bought a boatload. I'll be using it for a while.
I have used Cranson brand drawing paper. It was good quality. I think the Cranson company has been around quite a while actually.

04-23-2003, 05:42 PM
Got this off the Internet...

The Arches paper mill, sister to the Canson mill, was founded in Lorraine, France, in 1492.

Canson is the "Premium" line of paper in 90 and 140 lb. weights, while Arches is considered their "Professional" line. The Arches paper is available in sheets, or 140 lb. blocks and pads.

I have been using Strathmore because that's all I can get locally. However, I have taken workshops where Arches was provided as part of the class materials. Absolutely superior paper...

04-23-2003, 05:53 PM

thanks Char!!! Why didn't I think of doing a search? :rolleyes: thanks!!!~!!!!!!!

04-23-2003, 06:10 PM
Canson is condidered student grade

I think you are going to be much happier with your Arches

04-23-2003, 06:11 PM
I bought Canson (and I think it is more of a student grade paper) and didn't like it at all. I then bought Arches and just use my Canson for testing colors, etc. The surface of the Canson is almost slick, but not like hot press either. Really hard to define, but I think you will be much happier with your Arches.

One more tip - after you are done folding your Arches paper back and forth, but it on a table or something with a straight end to help you tear it along the crease. If it doesn't tear easily crease your paper back and forth some more.

04-23-2003, 06:12 PM
artcrazy....lord thunderin'jesus can't you find a Loomis and Toles around that place? Rick Mercer is in town...

Chatham....I use 300# D'arches and Kilamanjaro from Crazy Joes...$125 US for 25 sheets
125 x 1.50 exchange = $187.50CA
$187.50CA x 1.15GST = $215.63CA
215.63CA + $25.00 Post = $240.63 = $9.63/sht
Don't know about you, but in Ottawa they want $16.00/sht + tax in the art stores.
$17.95 + tax for Bainbridge Alpamat...same thing is $6.00US...do the math!
The art stores are taking us to the cleaners!!!

04-23-2003, 06:26 PM
Originally posted by pampe
Canson is condidered student grade

It is indeed student grade. I think its awful stuff at least for transparent watercolor.

When I divide or quarter a sheet of watercolor paper I fold it and crease it with a knife handle and then I take it over to the sink and run hot water down the crease for awhile to soften the edge. Then I slowly tear it. Because of the softening, it should leave a slight deckle on the new edge so that if you want to float the paper over a mat (which I do sometimes) it looks better than having three deckled edges and one cut edge.


04-23-2003, 06:50 PM
I bought a Canson Montvale block at Michaels in the USA.

Not top quality, but quite acceptable. I'd say it is on a par with Bockingford.

Me ? I prefer Langton or Arches paper.


04-23-2003, 08:07 PM
wow, thanks for all the info everyone! Now i gotta BIT of a clue ..... (insert blond, left handed newfie joke here at own risk :p )......:D

I am doing my belgians painting on the canson, but something tells me it aint the best paper, so will try the new stuff on my next painting ;)

Seedy: I'm STILL laughing at your comments re;loomis and toles/rick mercer. Don't think Rick could help me out on this one, though!! And I have been ordering through abovegroundartsupplies.....but going to order some more supplies (yay!) soon, will check out cheap joes, thanks! ;)

04-23-2003, 08:19 PM
***************sniffling in the corner....

It was on their website...... They called their student grade Aquarelle.........

What do I know, ssnniff, sniiiiiif, I'm new...

04-23-2003, 08:26 PM
The only Canson paper I've come across & used was student grade. The block/pad may indicate what the paper is made of. If it's higher quality it will say 100% rag/cotton. It's fun and interesting to try different papers. You will love some more than others.

04-24-2003, 09:31 AM
I have used a lot of Canson Montval, and it is not a 100% cotton paper. It works good ( not excelent). You have to be more careful with masking not to tear the paper when removing. I like the Rough Surface better than the Cold press. It does not compare with Arches, but it is good for learning on. ( And it is a lot cheaper than the better quality). Bob

04-24-2003, 10:36 AM
Some of my students use Canson but they have not had success with it.

04-24-2003, 11:25 AM
I've used it too because it was cheaper. Have to agree with the comments about the rough. It's a very different texture, like it is rough-looking but slick. The rough is about the oddest looking rough I've ever seen. It was fine for practicing. Didn't take washes too well. When I graduated to Arches, I felt like my ability improved so much just because I was using proper watercolor paper. Nice ego boost though at the time! LOL


Mary Kay
04-24-2003, 11:55 AM
some of my students have used canson paper. It has created frustration and aggravation for them.

When first learning watercolor, you have enough to think about. You have to handle the amount of water on the paper, the brush, and in the pigment, the amount of pigment, the shapes, colors, etc. Having one less thing to think about ( how the paper reacts) is a godsend. Use the best paper you can, go cheap on the brushes and paints for now. You don't need to be fighting the paper.

If a sheet of Arches is $6 retail, tearing it into quarter sheets will give you 8 painting surfaces (use both sides) which will cost $.75 per side. Eighth sheets gives you 16 surfaces...don't like the painting? soak it in the sink, gently scrub with a sponge, and dry overnight on a towel. it will be a little softer to paint on, but still useable. This works better with non-staining paints. Arches also offers packages occasionally...3 sheets for $10 or something like that. check the retail stores.

Arches 140 pound cold press will allow you to experiment with all of the techniques and will be consistant every time. It is a superior paper, and the only one I recommend for beginners. After you become comfortable with the medium, then experiment with other papers. You'll only be changing and learning one new element-the paper-so you can accurately evaluate it.

Good luck, and have fun painting! Mary Kay

04-24-2003, 12:57 PM
Originally posted by artcrazy
thanks very much, everyone!!

I will try bending the paper, not cutting. It is 300 lb, too

Since it is 300# paper, after you fold it over and back several times, make sure you wet (soak) the crease before you start tearing it.... it won't 'break' the edge (like 300# paper tends to do), but give you a nice deckled edge...