Arches watercolour papers are exceptional quality and mould-made in France from 100% cotton fibres to ensure these papers are acid-free and pH neutral. The gelatin-sizing creates a durable surface which can hold layers of colour washes and still be durable for removing and reapplying colour. Artists are able to create all sorts of unique watercolour effects and corrections. This paper can handle it. It is the most durable paper on the market.
Watercolour blocks are convenient. The paper is cut to size and bound on all four sides. This special binding eliminates the need for stretching as bound paper buckles less than loose paper. Be sure to let it dry before removing the sheets. The wet paper will shrink as it dries and the paper will return to a flat surface when completely dry.
To remove a sheet, look for the unglued spot on the top-edge of the block. Slide a palette knife under the first paper and gently run the knife edge along the paper to gently lift the single sheet from the block.
Another tip: buy larger blocks and tape-off smaller sections to paint. This way you can work on two or four paintings at a time.
These blocks contain 20 sheets of Cold Press 140 lb. Arches paper
Arches Papers come in Hot Press , Cold Press and Rough. This relates to the texture of the paper. Each surface is desirable to different reasons:
Cold Press (Centre image below) is the most popular texture for watercolour painting. It has a slight texture which comes from the texture of the felt used to press the water out of the paper during production. The texture of watercolour paper may add personality to your art. Watercolours pigments may separate from the water and fall into or fill the bottom dips in the paper texture. This is called granulation. Some colours do this better than others. Test your colours to learn which colour granulates better than others. Please not some English paper manufacturers refer to Cold Press as “Not” which means ‘not Hot Press’. English a fun language.
Rough (Right) image below) paper, as the name suggests, is a more textured paper than Cold Press. The bumpy surface shows off granulation the best. Landscape and abstract artists appreciate the special effects created by rougher papers.
Hot Press (left image below) is very smooth. It has been ironed flat. It is ideal for detailed illustrations where crisp lines are necessary (ie: product or car illustration, botanical documentation or anatomical reference).