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Watercolour paper review
Watercolour Paper Comparison by Leochi


Tested brands in alphabetical order:


Arches 300gsm NOT 100% cotton

Canson Fontenay 300gsm NOT 100% cotton

Canson Montval 300gsm NOT 100” acid free cellulose

Centenaire 300gsm NOT and rough 100% cotton

Daler-Rowney Aquafine 300gsm NOT 100% acid free cellulose

Fabriano 300gsm hot press 100% cotton

Lanaquarelle 300gsm hot press 100% cotton

Saunders Waterford 300gsm NOT 100% cotton

Hahnemühle ,12 different papers,will be listed and reviewed separately

Hahnemuehle Watercolour Paper Review by Leochi


My watercolour paper collection has been steadily growing throughout the years. Some of them are used on a daily basis and others haven’t been touched yet. Therefore I’ve decided it’s time to give them a closer look and to discover more about their properties and whatever special features some of them might surprise us with.


The best kind of watercolour paper is made of 100% cotton rag. To prevent bleeding the paper needs some sizing. This means gelatine is added to the paper pulp and to the surface of the sheet.  Studio range papers are usually made from high quality wood cellulose sometimes with the addition of varying percentages of cotton rag. Some papers are manufactured from bamboo, esparto grass or other natural fibres.


Some papers are mould-made and some are produced on a machine. The mould-made papers have irregular edges and are usually more expensive than machine-made papers.

The thickness of watercolor paper is indicated by its weight, measured either in grams per square metre (gsm) or pounds per ream (lb).

Watercolour paper is most commonly offered in following weights:






European papers are usually





The standard paper usually is a 140lb paper.  There are thinner and thicker papers, but they usually aren’t in stock at smaller retailers and might have to be purchased by special order.


Thinner paper will need stretching if you don’t want it to buckle.

140lb paper is the most economic choice because it’s thick enough not to buckle too much and still more affordable than thick watercolour board.


Watercolour papers can have three kinds of surfaces: hot press, cold press and rough.


Hot press paper is very smooth to the touch. It is mainly used for wet on dry techniques and allows very fine detail.

Cold press paper (also called NOT) has a fine tooth. Texture may vary from brand to brand. Cold press is a lovely all-purpose paper that allows larger washes and finer details. It’s therefore the most commonly offered paper. 


Rough paper comes in two varieties. Some rough papers have a very textured surface, others have a smoother but cloudy texture called “Torchon”. Rough watercolour paper takes water very well and allows for dynamic wet on wet techniques. It’s usually not very suitable for detailed work due to its coarse texture although Torchon may allow some rather charming results with finer brushes.


Most watercolour papers are off-white. Some like Arches and Fabriano satin are more yellowish, some others like Saunders Waterford appear more white. Some companies offer some “extra white” versions.

Watercolour paper is offered in blocks, pads, sheets and rolls. Rolls are the most economic option, glued pads are the most expensive. Sheets are my favourites because I can cut them to the size I want and they're nice and flat. Retailers often have a cutting machine in their shop, so one can cut large sheets there. Some online retailers even offer to cut largers sheets into smaller sizes:…



Links that might be useful for more detailed information:




Canson Fontenay…


Canson Montval…




Daler-Rowney Aquafine…







Saunders Waterford…

This article is about artists' grade watercolours. Everything written is based on my personal experiences. I'm not getting paid by any of the suggested companies.

It has always struck me as surprising how painting habits can be different in Europe and the US. (Apologies to any other country/continent that I don't know of, especially all of Asia and the Southern hemisphere - I just don't have any knowledge about what artists prefer there)

European artists tend to use more pans for their watercolours, opposed to Americans, who seem to favour tubes. Of course, it's probably a question of availability, too. Companies like Schmincke (German), Winsor&Newton (English, but manufacturing in France), Sennelier (French), Rembrandt (Dutch), Lukas (German) etc. all offer pans AND tubes. To my knowledge US brands Daniel Smith, Da Vinci and M.Graham only offer tubes. (Please do correct me if I'm wrong.)

Pros and cons

1) easy to transport
2) clean
3) dry
4) lightweight
5) refillable
6) often offered in a palette box
7) beginner sets of 12 half pans are good value for money and ready to go
8) you've got all your colours in front of you
9) you can open your box and start painting without needing to prepare anything but a brush and water

1) can be easily contaminated when one doesn't clean the brush before dipping it into the next colour
2) colour mixing can become a challenge if you don't mix enough for the area you're working on
3) some pans need more scrubbing to get the colour off
4) colours are often less intense when you pick colour from a dry pan

1) intense colours
2) a little goes a long way
3) easy to mix big quantities of colours
4) good for huge areas where much colour is needed
5) good for diluting in water and pouring

1) tubes can be messy
2) lost tube caps result in dry colours
3) caps get stuck and the tubes get twisted when you try to open them
4) heavy
5) expensive
6) you need more preparation before you can start painting
7) more waste of colour if your colours dry on the palette and get dusty
8) some tube colours don't rewet well when they dry out
9) sometimes the pigments and the suspension liquid separate in the tube, and you're left with half a tube of transparent gooey mess that you cannot use for painting
10) you need an extra palette to squeeze your colour on. (OK, there are some empty palette boxes for tubes, but they are harder to find than the empty boxes for pans - Some companies do offer tube sets in enamel boxes.
W&N Artists'…
W&N Cotman in a plastic palette box…

A few hints to get the best of the two worlds:

1) If you have access to both kinds of paints buy WHOLE pans in a set.
and Winsor&Newton…
offer lovely sets with whole pans. (Those links do NOT lead you to the cheapest bargain. They're just to give you an idea what those sets look like. Check at your local art store or online to find the best offer for you.)

2) Whole pans go a long way, therefore they are cheaper in the long run. They are also better for your brushes. Poking holes into  tiny half pans ruins your brush tips and it's difficult to get enough colour for larger washes. Of course, some people might prefer smaller pans because they work on smaller formats like cards, where one doesn't need to cover big areas. Some people prefer to have lots of colours to choose from and therefore love to use 48 half pan sets, which are the sets with the biggest possible colour choice in one box. As for me, I prefer mixing colours from a limited palette, but I do see the attraction from such a "little" jewel. ;)……

3) After working with those pans for a while, you will notice which colours you use most. You can then buy a few tubes and replenish the pans. (The only backdraw for W&N is that not every tube colour rewets well, so you might be cautious using this method with that brand. Schmincke watercolours use the same formula for their pans and tubes and rewet without any problems. I haven't tested how Sennelier tube paints react, though.)

4) All watercolour brands can be used together. Daniel Smith tubes have excellent rewetting properties, so you might use them to replenish W&N whole pans if you have access to both brands.

5) Spritz a mist of water on dry pans and let them activate for a few minutes before using them, you won't need that much scrubbing to get colour on your brush.

6) Be very careful how you unscrew tubes. Clean the rim immediately after squeezing out colour and don't forget to clean the cap as well.

7) Keeping  watercolour tubes upright can prevent you from getting suspension liquid when you squeeze the tube. I put my tubes into smallish lidded plastic containers that can be placed on the side, so the tubes stay upright. Companies usually hang their tubes on racks.

8) If a lid gets stuck, you can try to stick  it into hot water for a moment. Grab the lid with a paper towel to avoid burning yourself and try to unscrew by holding the tube upright. Be careful not to spill too much paint, as that method tends to liquify it.

9) Should your paint have dried in the tube, you can cut it open and use the dried paint same as you would use a pan. Some paints might not reactivate, but it's always worth a try. (Schmincke and Daniel Smith paints always rewet well)

10) You can make your own pan set by buying empty full pans and filling them with tube colours of your own choice.…
Daniel Smith offer empty enamel palette boxes you can customize yourself.…
Congratulations to :icontalesofcolor: who caught the 77.777 pageviews. :D
If you're watching my DA and manage to take a screenshot of the 77.777 pageviews you'll be entitled to prompt me to draw something. :D

Good luck to all my viewers! Keep watching out for those 77.777 pageviews.

Natto has been on my to-taste-list for quite a long time.
It's supposed to be a very healthy food full of benefits for you skin, bones, heart and immune system.
Here's a bit of information you might be interested in.…

My first attempt at eating it last Saturday wasn't very successful, and I had to chuck most of my first portion. Today I came back home quite hungry and decided to give it another try - and yes, I managed to eat the whole portion. :D:D:D
It's wasn't exactly delicious, but not bad either. It's sticky and kind of smelly, and the taste is rather bitter at the beginning, but it seems to be an acquired taste, so I plan on eating it regularly now, rather than to take supplements.

Have you ever had Natto? Do you even eat it regularly?
Edit: The scam account has been deactivated. :D:D:D

Just a heads-up that there's some unsavoury art/identity theft going on again on DA:

That person has not only stolen the art, icon, identity and almost the name of one of my favourite artists, they also are asking for points AND GETTING THEM from unsuspecting DA people.
Here's the link to the fraud:

The real artist is :iconclaparo-sans: Check out their art, it is fabulous. :heart:
Happy Mother's Day to all mums out there! Here's the link to today's chibi drawing, super-mum Molly Weasley. :D Molly Weasley Chibi by LeochisHogwarts
Pottermore have released an exclusive first look at their new official HP character chibis.…
That has inspired me to try to draw my own version of Hogwarts students chibis. I'm not very good at manga, but I thought it could still be a fun challenge.
What characters would you like to see? :D
The chibis will be posted on my other DA journal dedicated to HP fanart. :iconleochishogwarts:
Gallery of the Hogwarts Chibi series:…

One is only allowed a maximum of two colours and the whole range of their mixes, plus a minimal dab of a third colour to accentuate some parts, (e.g. a touch of red to the cheeks or something small like that).
The focus should be on one specific colour, ideally the second colour should enhance the first. Secondary colours are probably a good choice. Use colours you normally avoid, or don't particularly like.

A white gel pen can be used for highlights. Any traditional medium is OK, but digital must be left out! (My medium will be... watercolour! ;))

You're welcome to join in or to suggest colours.

After working with colours I normally wouldn't use, I've come to discover some nice properties to them. Here's the bunch of watercolours created for the challenge. :D

StarLover - Caput Mortuum by Leochi Ballet1 Permanent Carmine353 Sepia663 by Leochi Ballet2 Sepia663 Carmine353 by Leochi Moonshine Sonata by Leochi Beanie by Leochi Singing Trio by Leochi Green Eyes by Leochi Purple Hats by Leochi
Hello dear DA-people!

Today I've stumbled upon the 52 Weeks Illustration Challenge… and really liked the idea. However,  I'm neither on Twitter nor on Facebook, (and I firmly refuse to go there, thankyouverymuch!), so I thought I'd start my own challenge.


One is only allowed a maximum of two colours and the whole range of their mixes, plus a minimal dab of a third colour to accentuate some parts, (e.g. a touch of red to the cheeks or something small like that).
The focus should be on one specific colour, ideally the second colour should enhance the first. Secondary colours are probably a good choice.

A white gel pen can be used for highlights. Any traditional medium is OK, but digital must be left out! (My medium will be... watercolour! ;))

You're welcome to join in or to suggest colours.

Today's colour was Schmincke Horadam #654 Caput Mortuum, an opaque auburnish brown with a violet undertone. Pigments: PR 101,PR 206

Here's my first little experiment:
StarLover - Caput Mortuum by Leochi
Can't believe Alan Rickman has followed David Bowie into eternity. :( (Sad)
Same age, same disease. RIP to both. They were exceptional artists.

 Merry Christmas to all my watchers and guests! :heart:

Should anyone wish me to send them an adorable

animated Christmas greeting, send me a note with

a valid e-mail address. :santa::santa::santa:

                                                                                 Winter Magic by Leochi
The colouring contest and the voting are closed now. Congratulations, :iconmoonymina: a well deserved first place. :clap:

Thank you to :iconradvelii: and to :iconlokbaere: for taking part in the contest.
The colouring contest is over, now it's time to vote for the winner!
Here's the poll:…

Thank you to all participants, good luck to you! (You may vote for yourself, of course.)
The poll will be accessible for 24 hours from now, I will announce the winner tomorrow at about 17:00 UTC
Hello there, everybody!

Today's the deadline to the colouring contest <da:thumb id="573847168"/>

There are already three participants. If you wish to take part, too, here's your last chance!

Already posted:

The trio and pets by radvelii The trio and pets by LokBaere Ron, Hermione, Harry and Pets - Coloring Contest by MoonyMina
Do you want to win 12 half pans of Schmincke Akademie watercolours?
Here's your chance!

Deadline extended to the 6th of December.

Colouring contest details:

1) Download this file and colour it with TRADITIONAL MEDIA Trio and Pets - Lineart for colouring contest
(watercolours, coloured pencils, inks, markers, crayons, gouache, pastels, acrylics and the likes. NO DIGITAL!)

2) Upload your coloured work of art to your journal and LINK IT TO THE LINEART POST:Trio and Pets - Lineart for colouring contest

3) If I cannot decide on which one I like best, I'll let my watchers vote per poll.

4) Anyone watching one of my journals can take part. (My other journal :iconleochishogwarts:)

5) Minimum number of participants is 5 people.
Three days ago I could hardly move my wrist, let alone type with ten fingers, and here I am, almost painfree thanks to treating myself with quark poultices.

Quark/Topfen is a type of white cheese comparable to cottage cheese that is commonly used in central Europe. It's very versatile, high in protein and low in fat, but it tastes quite bland on its own. One needs to add either salty or sweet ingredients to make delicious spreads. It's also used in baking to make a wonderful cheesecake and other lovely bakery goods.

And it has medicinal virtues, too!…
The lactic acid apparently reduces inflammation and soothes sore joints. I've been applying quark poultices to my wrists these past few days, and look at me, there I am happily typing a journal here to share my amazement and happiness about an almost painfree wrist.

Should you be able to get hold of some quark, try it as a natural medicine for inflammations of all kinds. (Don't apply it to you eyes, and abstain from using it when you're lactose intolerant.)

Lindsey Vonn, the top skiing athlete, has treated her leg injury with it, so why not give it a try, yourself. :D…
To everybody who comments, I'm not ignoring you. Typing this slowly with one finger because of

Tenosynovitis in wrist. So painful :cry:

Should you be a fan of HP you might like to pop over to my other DA account for a new watercolour of Regulus Black. Drawn for :iconnnoitra-szayel-007:

Regulus by LeochisHogwarts