Arches Watercolor Papers

Arches Watercolor is a top quality multipurpose paper made out of 100% natural cotton fibers on a traditional mould with gelatin. This manufacturing process allows artists to scratch it without tearing or linting it and also preserves the lustre and transparency of the colors whilst preventing paints penetrating into the thickness of the paper. It can absorb large amounts of water without warping or causing color bleeding, so it’s a comfortable product made for those who want the best results. Arches paper isn’t limited in use with watercolors, as they may also be used for drawing¬†calligraphy, gouache, printmaking, acrylics, and even digital printing. For many artists out there, these are the only papers they use which is indicative of their unmatched quality and achievable results.

Arches Watercolor Papers come in three different textures namely the “hot press” (smoothest surface), “cold press” (medium surface), and the “rough”. They come in the form of sheets, rolls, blocks, or albums, and no matter the differences in the form they are all compliant with the ISO 9706 guidance regarding acid-free and no optical brightening agents, as well as fungicidal treatment to prevent the development of mold.


Product Pros & Cons

Artist Likes

  • Top notch paper quality
  • No chromatic distortion or tonal deviation
  • Thick, durable and mold-resistant
  • Made out of 100% natural cotton, no acids, no toxic agents
  • High water retention capacity

Artist Dislikes

  • Reworking an area may cause crumbling
  • Old users report change in the absorbency
  • Not good for graphite painting
  • Smells bad when wet
  • Big watermark wastes printing/painting area
  • Some find it too heavy

Archer Watercolor paper is generally accepted by the artists community with enthusiastic comments. Most people believe that this is the best paper available out there, and this is amplified by the fact that it is so durable and so your creations on paper are kept unaffected by external factors like moisture and exposure to intense light. However, some artists report bad smell when the paper is wet, others have found difficulty when trying to rework a point, and artists who use graphite to paint deemed this paper unsuitable for the purpose. Old users of the particular product report change in the quality that affected the paper’s previously magnificent absorbency and stretchability.

Final Considerations

Archer Watercolor Paper is one of the best papers available, if not the best. This however doesn’t mean that it’s the best for every possible use, but if you’re creating with watercolors then it’s a safe bet for sure. It’s increased price and the fact that it’s shipped from France act as suspending factors for those who need something readily available, cheap, and disposable. This product is geared towards more professional use, and is meant to be used by artists who want to create things that will last long no matter the fact that they’ll be depicted on paper. That said, it is not recommended for use by art students etc., but if you still want high quality no matter the details you should look no further.

Arches Watercolor Paper Pad, 140 pound, Cold Press, 9"x12"

The cold press finish has a light texture and is the most common. It reflects light well, retaining the transparent quality of watercolours. A light grain makes it easier to achieve certain details.

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Arches Watercolor Pad, Hot Press 9"X12"

Paper made with natural cotton fibers on a cylinder-mold machine. Great for watercolor, gouache, acrylic, and airbrushing.

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Arches Watercolor Block, Cold Press 9"X12"

Paper made with natural cotton fibers on a cylinder-mold machine. Great for watercolor, gouache, acrylic, and airbrushing.

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