Arches Watercolor Blocks, Cold Press
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Arches Watercolor is the world's premier paper for watercolor painting. Ask an experienced watercolorist about the best brands of paper, and "Arches" is very likely to be the first word they say. The surface is stronger and capable of handling more water than other brands; that's why so many painters who love to lift and move pigment are devoted Arches users. A unique sizing technology allows Arches to saturate each sheet "to the core" with gelatin, providing a level of stability that other papers can't match.
All Arches watercolor paper is made with 100% cotton rag, which offers superior performance compared with wood-based paper. But it's the Arches process that makes this paper truly special. Because of the traditional cylinder mold used to make Arches, the cotton fibers are more evenly distributed, and the paper expands evenly when water is applied. That's why Arches doesn't warp like paper produced with faster methods.
In our studio tests, our staff artists were unanimously impressed with the vivid color of watercolor on Arches paper. The paper absorbs water beautifully, leaving bright pigment adhered to the textured surface of the sheet. This cold press version is the most popular of the three Arches surfaces, with an organic texture that's ideal for realistic painting of natural subjects like people and plants.
One other note about Arches. We knew that this paper was renowned for its watercolor handling, but we didn't realize how resilient it is with pens, inks, pencils, artist tape, masking fluid, and almost any other process you might want to use in the studio. Even the textured surfaces didn't struggle with drawing tools and tape, so an Arches block is a fantastic choice for illustration or mixed media projects, too.
20 sheets per glue-bound block, with heavy backing, an elegant filigreed paper cover, and a heavyweight black sheet to protect the surface until you open it. Arches blocks are bound on all four sides; insert a palette knife in the gap at the top and carefully draw it around the edge to remove your finished, dry work from the top.
300 gsm (140#) paper weight. Available in several sizes—choose yours from the dropdown menu.
Made in France.
Since 1492, the Arches paper mill in France has produced the finest surfaces for painting, drawing, and printmaking. Using traditional processes and the accumulated know-how of five centuries, Arches produces extraordinary papers that define their respective categories. Arches Aquarell, in particular, is the global reference for fine watercolor paper.
The Arches brand is defined by its French heritage, and France counts Arches as an important cultural export. Arches holds the distinguished Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant (Living Heritage Company) certification, sponsored by the French government and reserved for brands that embody the best of French craftsmanship and design.
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