Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Compare watercolor papers: Canson Moulin du Roy

This is part six of twelve in my series of watercolor paper tests, comparisons, and reviews. Here I am testing Canson Moulin du Roy, cold press. Hot press is tested in a separate post. See this post for introduction and photos of all the papers and this post for conclusions.

Canson Moulin du Roy

  • Finish and weight: Cold press, 140 lb. (300 gsm) (for hot press, read this post)
  • Composition: 100% cotton, acid free, made without optical brightness additives, mold-resistant treatment
  • Manufacturing: Cylinder mould
  • Sizing: Internal and surface sizing
  • Website info

Paper color

This paper is white.

Watercolor brightness

Yes, the watercolors retain their brightness on this paper.

Canson Moulin du Roy cold press with watercolors, pencil, pen, brush and ink
© 2016 Anna C./See. Be. Draw.

Paper texture

The texture is similar to Arches cold press once painted on, but much softer to the touch. It makes for beautiful, yet subtle, granulation patterns.

Paper sizing and absorbency

I found the sizing just right, as it allows the paint to soak in without backruns but does not soak in too fast. The brush runs relatively smoothly on this paper.

Canson Moulin du Roy cold press with watercolors
© 2016 Anna C./See. Be. Draw.

Paper cockling

There is some cockling if used unstretched.

Pencil/pen/brush and ink

The surface feels hard to draw on with a pencil and lines turn out gray yet smooth. Marks delete well with faint ghosting left. With a pen, the surface feels a bit unresponsive due to the sizing and smooth surface. Brush and ink strokes made with a brush turn out nice and black, with slightly rough edges.

Cost and availability

Canson Moulin du Roy is available in sheets, rolls, blocks, and pads. Edit 11/9/2016: Only just found out that the pads and blocks have been discontinued.
  • List price for a 22”x30” sheet is $7.50, online it can be found for around $5.

History and continuity

Canson is a French paper that takes its roots in a paper mill started in 1557 by Jacques Montgolfier. In 1801, it was renamed Montgolfier et Canson. In 1926, a subsidiary in New York was opened, named Canson & Montgolfier, Inc. In 1976, Canson & Montgolfier was acquired by the Arjomari Group, which in turn was founded in 1956 and includes Arches. In 2006, Canson and subsidiaries were purchased by the French-based Hamelin Group. The paper is, at the time of this writing, still made in France. Updated 1/30/2017: In 2016, the Italian company F.I.L.A. purchased Canson. F.I.L.A. owns brands such as Lyra, Daler-Rowney, and Maimeri.

Moulin du Roy is a relatively new paper, first introduced in 2013, and I, for one, wish it a long and happy life!


This is another good option for a cold press paper of 100% cotton. The texture is subtle yet works well with granulating pigments, the sizing allows for some reworking but without backruns. It also works well with brush and ink.

Översättning. Canson är ytterligare en av de stora pappersfabrikanterna och härstammar från ett franskt pappersbruk grundat 1557. De tillverkar fortfarande sitt papper i Frankrike. Canson Moulin du Roy är en ny satsning i 100% bomull introducerat under 2013.

Canson Moulin du Roy fin gräng har en vit yta med en ganska slät ytstruktur som ändå tillåter granulerande pigment att tona fram. Detta papper är en av mina nya favoriter tillsammans med Strathmore 500 Series Ready Cut och Arches Watercolour Bright White fin gräng.

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