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Best Watercolour Papers

Updated: Nov 20, 2023

We've compiled a list of some of our favorite watercolour papers. The archival, heavy weight nature of watercolour paper makes it an ideal base for a wide range of mediums.


Note: If you're just starting out or exploring paper for your art something to bear in mind is the weight and how the paper is pressed. Generally speaking rough paper is more ideal for textured works or mediums such as pastels and charcoal. Hot pressed paper (HP) is the smoothest option which is best suited for detail and pen based artworks. Cold pressed (NOT) is somewhere between hot press and rough and most commonly used by watercolour artists. Read on for our reviews of some of the best watercolour paper we come across. Most are available as rough, hot pressed and cold pressed.


1. Saunders Waterford Watercolour Paper


This traditional mould-made watercolour paper is high quality and comes with an endorsement from the Royal Watercolour Society. 100% cotton, this paper is of an archival standard and is buffered to prevent discolouration of your artwork. It also comes in a "high white" making it one of the whitest watercolour papers on the market. This gives great lift to watercolours and makes the paper ideal for pen and ink drawing as well as watercolour.


Saunders Waterford Watercolour Paper. This traditional mould-made watercolour paper is high quality and comes with an endorsement from the Royal Watercolour Society. 100% cotton, this paper is of an archival standard and is buffered to prevent discolouration of your artwork. It also comes in a "high white" making it one of the whitest watercolour papers on the market. This gives great lift to watercolours and makes the paper ideal for pen and ink drawing as well as watercolour.

Saunders Waterford Watercolour Paper. View in shop.


2. Bockingford Watercolour Paper


This extremely forgiving watercolour paper is ideal for beginners and professionals alike. The paper is made from a pulp but is highly archival and St Cuthberts Mill claim the paper will last for hundreds of years. The paper is the same whiteness as Saunders Waterford High White making it one of the whitest papers on the market giving great lift and pop to paint and drawings. Bockingford watercolour paper offers great quality at an affordable price.


Bockingford Watercolour Paper. This extremely forgiving watercolour paper is ideal for beginners and professionals alike. The paper is made from a pulp but is highly archival and St Cuthberts Mill claim the paper will last for hundreds of years. The paper is the same whiteness as Saunders Waterford High White making it one of the whitest papers on the market giving great lift and pop to paint and drawings. Bockingford watercolour paper offers great quality at an affordable price.

Bockingford Traditional Watercolour Paper. View in shop.


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3. Arches Watercolour Paper


Arches watercolour paper is a favorite amongst many artists for a good reason. 100% cotton, this professional grade paper is made to the highest quality. Each sheet of paper is hand inspected at the mill to ensure consistency. Strong enough to withstand multiple washes, masking fluid and tape without damage, this paper is exceptionally durable and comes in one of the largest varieties of weights.


Arches Watercolour Paper. Arches watercolour paper is a favorite amongst many artists for a good reason. 100% cotton, this professional grade paper is made to the highest quality. Each sheet of paper is hand inspected at the mill to ensure consistency. Strong enough to withstand multiple washes, masking fluid and tape without damage, this paper is exceptionally durable and comes in one of the largest varieties of weights.

Arches Watercolour Paper. View in shop.


4. Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolour Paper


Designed with fine artists in mind, Winsor & Newton Professional 100% cotton is an exceptional paper that looks and feels handmade. The length and quality of the cotton fibres results in a paper with a luxury feel and superior strength and durability.


Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolour Paper. Designed with fine artists in mind, Winsor & Newton Professional 100% cotton is an exceptional paper that looks and feels handmade. The length and quality of the cotton fibres results in a paper with a luxury feel and superior strength and durability.

Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolour Paper. View in shop.


5. Winsor & Newton Classic Watercolour Paper


Winsor & Newton Classic Watercolour Paper offers an affordable painting surface ideal for artists on a budget. Made from high quality archival grade cellulose wood pulp this paper is a more affordable alternative to professional paper. The paper has excellent archival qualities.


Winsor & Newton Classis Watercolour Paper. Winsor & Newton Classic Watercolour Paper offers an affordable painting surface ideal for artists on a budget. Made from high quality archival grade cellulose wood pulp this paper is a more affordable alternative to professional paper. The paper has excellent archival qualities.

Winsor & Newton Classic Watercolour Paper


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6. Canson Heritage Watercolour Paper


Canson Heritage is a 100% cotton watercolour paper range made to meet the most exacting standards of professional watercolourists. With a traditional hand made feel this paper captures true to life colour and allows for crisp rendering of detail.


Canson Heritage Watercolour Paper. Canson Heritage is a 100% cotton watercolour paper range made to meet the most exacting standards of professional watercolourists. With a traditional hand made feel this paper captures true to life colour and allows for crisp rendering of detail.

Canson Heritage Watercolour Paper. View in shop.


7. Hahnemuhle Britannia Watercolour Paper


This natural white watercolour paper is acid free, lightfast and age resistant. The smooth surface of Britannia watercolour paper allows for excellent colour flow, making it ideal for working wet in wet or creating glazes.


Hahnemuhle Leonardo Watercolour Paper. This natural white watercolour paper is acid free, lightfast and made from 100% cotton. The smooth surface of Leonardo watercolour paper allows for excellent colour flow, making it ideal for working wet in wet or creating glazes.

Hahnemuhle Britannia Watercolour Paper. View in shop.


8. Fabriano Artistico Watercolour Paper


Fabriano Artistico is a 100% Cotton mould-made, chlorine free and acid free watercolour paper, that offers guaranteed long conservation and inalterability over time. It offers optimum absorbency to satisfy the requirements of both amateurs and professionals.


Fabriano Artistico Watercolour Paper. Fabriano Artistico is a 100% Cotton mould-made, chlorine free and acid free watercolour paper, that offers guaranteed long conservation and inalterability over time. It offers optimum absorbency to satisfy the requirements of both amateurs and professionals.

Fabriano Artistico Watercolour Paper. View in shop.


9. Daler Rowney Langton Prestige Watercolour Paper


Langton Prestige is a superior quality alternative to regular Langton paper. Manufactured using 100% cotton this paper has a natural whiteness with a distinctive texture. It is acid-free to preserve your work and protects against discolouration.


Langton Prestige is a superior quality alternative to regular Langton paper. Manufactured using 100% cotton this paper has a natural whiteness with a distinctive texture. It is acid-free to preserve your work and protects against discolouration.

Daler Rowney Langton Prestige Watercolour Paper. View in shop.


10. Daler Rowney Langton Watercolour Paper


This watercolour paper from Daler Rowney offers good colour-stability and it is both mould-made and acid free. This paper will preserve the integrity of your artwork over time and prevent the deterioration of paint and colour.


Daler Rowney Langton Watercolour Paper. This watercolour paper from Daler Rowney offers good colour-stability and it is both mould-made and acid free. This paper will preserve the integrity of your artwork over time and prevent the deterioration of paint and colour.

Daler Rowney Langton Watercolour Paper. View in shop.



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The Hong Kong Arts Collective

The Hong Kong Arts collective (HKARTS) was established in 2019 by local artists for local artists. It was created as an online artists village to support and promote artists living and working in Hong Kong. We offer exhibition opportunities, fine art printing, art consultations and our online shop supports both our artists and the wider community as a whole.

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