This time the post is about a paper test. I’m going to try Moulin du Roy and Saunders Waterford. I did not paint on them before and decided to see if they would be better alternative for Fabriano Artistico, which is my number one. I will share with you my impressions.

Moulin du Roy

This is a new paper from Canson. I painted a purple azalea on it. I had one sheet, so I could not waste it. Unfortunately, my general impression is quite bad.

It was very difficult to paint on it with glazes. Each next layer disturbed the previous one (even though bone dry), blooms formed really easily and adding the color to the previous one is very difficult. Softening the edges is very troublesome. Just take away a paper brush from the paper for a second to dip in the water and blot it, and when you come back it’s almost impossible to soften the edge: either you wipe out the part you have just painted, or this area has already dried and you come up with a hard edge .

I have a feeling that this paper eats the colors. In the final image, the petals look like I had applied one or two delicate layers of paint. Unfortunately, I didn’t. I had to add more and more, because the color was not intense enough. When applying the next layers, I disturbed the previous ones, although they were supposed to be completely dry (I even helped myself with a hairdryer) and again I had to fix something…

Painting is a pleasure, but painting on the Moulin du Roy did not belong to the most pleasant things. Maybe the final result is quite nice, but the painting process was so long and difficult that I will not give a second chance to this paper. However, I must stress that I am writing about HP paper, i.e. smooth. I also had a CP sheet and this one is much better, but it is not suitable for botanical painting because it is not smooth.

Saunders Waterford

I painted the second azalea on Saunders Waterford HP paper. Heaven and earth! This paper is very, very good in comparison with Moulin du Roy.

  • There are no problems with glazes. You can apply subsequent layers without disturbing the previous ones, and the paper is very durable.
  • Softening the edges is not a problem.
  • An additional plus for Saunders is for availability in a variety of sizes, blocks, pads and sheets.
  • The colors on it remain vivid, saturated, and painting on it is pure pleasure.
  • The downside is that washing out the color is more difficult than on Fabriano Artistico.
  • A small minus also for the texture and color of the paper. Theoretically, it is a hot pressed paper, i.e. smooth and it is actually smooth, but some delicate texture is visible. Certainly not as smooth as Fabriano or Arches. The color is not perfectly white, which is a plus and a minus, it depends on how you look at it and what do you prefer.

Generally, however, I think that Saunders Waterford HP is a very good paper for botanical painting and I think I will be using it more often.


I made a short video on painting azalea. You can watch it below. I also invite you to subscribe to my YouTube channel to be up to date with new videos.

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