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Top 5 Best Watercolor Paper for Artists in 2023

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watercolor paper
Top 05 Best Watercolor Paper for Artist

Best watercolor paper for artists in 2023 plays an important role in the art of watercolor painting. It must be able to absorb water and expand and can return to its original shape when dry. In addition, the surface allows the paint to flow easily and provides pores in which paint can accumulate.

There are many types of watercolor paper that can be found in the market, and each manufacturer has its own characteristics. By using and practicing with different types of paper for a long time, I recommend you the best watercolor papers based on personal experience and preference.

Note that this is purely my subjective opinion, you can use it as a reference and find the one that suits your painting style.

Things to keep in mind when you buy watercolor paper

This art tool is expensive and hard to take care of, so if you’re hesitant about spending money on it, think carefully. The paper can get moldy over time, so we recommend purchasing an amount that you will use within 1-3 months.

Best Watercolor Paper for Artists in 2023

01. Arches Watercolor Paper

Topping the list of the best watercolor papers for artists in 2023 that I recommend is a brand from France. Arches watercolor paper is made from 100% cotton rag and natural gelatin sizing. It’s marketed as professional artist-grade watercolor paper. The paper is acid-free, pH-neutral, gelatin-sized, and air-dried.

Watercolor paper Pad

It can be said that Arches is a brand that many famous watercolor artists trust as one of the best choices to take their artwork to a new level.


  • Can apply many advanced techniques
  • Compatible in many other materials: Pen ink, gouache, pencil, poster color.
  • Stand up well to multiple washes


  • price is quite high
Arches Watercolor Block 9x12-inch Natural White 100% Cotton Paper - 20 Sheets of Arches Watercolor Paper 140 lb Cold Press - Arches Art Paper for Watercolor Gouache Ink Acrylic and More
  • Prized Paper - The long fibers in Arches natural white 100% cotton watercolor paper...
  • Superior Strength - A cylinder mold process distributes cotton fibers evenly to provide...
watercolor painting landscape

02. Saunders Waterford Watercolor Paper

St Cuthberts Mill based in Somerset, England; specializes in the paper manufacturing of high-quality artist’s papers. Saunders Waterford is one of the watercolor papers they make. It absorbs water very well. They are made using 100% cotton, acid-free, pH-neutral, gelatin-sized, and air-dried. Besides, the paper has two versions, off-white and high-white.


  • Can apply many advanced techniques
  • Good price
  • Stand up well to multiple washes


  • A bit slow to dry
Watercolor painting landscape Clouds over a field

03. Winsor & Newton Professional Paper

Winsor & Newton is one of the most famous watercolor manufacturers in the world, and would also make an excellent watercolor paper. Their products are made from 100% cotton and are naturally acid-free, archival, and contain no optical brighteners, so will remain completely color-stable over time if kept in the right conditions. Of course, It also is available in hot-pressed, Cold-Pressed, and Rough surface textures.

watercolor paper


  • Can apply many advanced techniques
  • Good price
  • Good moisturizing


  • Poor elasticity
Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolor Paper Block, 7" x 10", Cold Pressed
  • Exceptionally resilient and durable, our watercolor paper will not warp or cockle even...
  • Made on a traditional cylinder mold. This ensures the fibers are interwoven, which gives...

04. Fabriano Artistico Watercolor Paper

Fabriano Artistico is a paper manufacturer from Italy with more than 750 years of history. The papers are made with 100% cotton produced with the mold-made process, a special industrial process that reproduces the typical characteristics of hand-made paper.

Moreover, Traditional white and Extra White is available in two color options of Fabriano Artistico. They are double-sized and acid-free; for surfaces, there are cold press, hot press, and rough.

Fabriano artistico


  • Can apply many advanced techniques
  • Cheap price


  • Color saturation is less bright
Fabriano Artistico 140 lb. Cold Press 20 Sheet Block 9x12" - Extra White
  • Extra white watercolor block
  • Mould-made of 100% cotton

05. Hahnemuhle Watercolor Paper

Hahnemühle was founded in 1584 as a producer of high-quality paper in the Solling highlands of Southern Lower Saxony. They using high-quality raw materials and pure spring water, mold-made processing, and 100% cotton rag. 

Hahnemuhle Watercolor Paper

The paper surface allows you to paint comfortably with a variety of watercolor painting techniques. Hahnemühle papers have a resistant surface and withstand repeated erasures. Besides, they are acid-free, age-resistant, and vegan.


  • Can apply many advanced techniques
  • Good moisturizing


  • Price is quite high
watercolor painting portrait


Although there are many types of watercolor paper for artists, it can be difficult to say which is the best. However, as a watercolor artist with many years of experience, I am listing this list based on my own actual experience, it can be said that it is a subjective opinion. So, don’t worry if your favorite paper is not on this list.

Other artists may not tell you what watercolor paper they are using, making it even harder to find great papers. That’s why the “Top 05 Best Watercolor Paper for Artists in 2023” has been compiled – you don’t have to doubt their quality.

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