A samurai never compromises with their sword, and an artist never buys cheap-quality supplies. Yes, that’s the thing!
However, each artist follows their budget and has different preferences. And when it comes to gouache, some prefer canvas;
but most of them go for papers! And so, creative minds are always looking for the best paper for gouache!
But there’re tons of options available out there. So, which one should you get?
Well, that’s what this article is all about! In this article, we’ve reviewed the top ten options so you can have the experience of a lifetime!
Benefits of Using Paper for Gouache
While gouache can be used on canvas, walls, and other surfaces, you might ask why we prefer paper.
Well, the answer is it works well on paper- especially on the watercolor ones. Some of the benefits of using paper for gouache are listed below.
Absorbs Water Quickly
Gouache is a painting medium that requires a lot of water. And paper can absorb water well. As a result, you can create your masterpiece just the way you want it to be.
It lets you play with the colors and applies multiple layers of gouache paint; overall, it absorbs the paint well.
Offers a Better Outcome
There are various paint surfaces- paper, canvas, wood, objects, silk, cardboard, etc., but gouache has a better outcome with papers. The colors come out livelier than ever!
Canvas vs. Paper
The thing with canvas is, they are best suited for acrylic painting. In contrast, gouache looks more vibrant on thick papers.
Moreover, if the paper is used for gouache, art students can practice more without spending much on canvas.
10 Best Papers for Gouache Reviews
Here is our top-ten list of papers that will be perfect for gouache. Pick one from here without hesitation if you want to take your creativity to a whole new level!
1. Canson XL Series Watercolor Pad
Canson is a 450-year old well-known French paper-making brand that was founded in 1557. This time they have come up with the best paper for gouache. These white-colored papers- have a thickness of 300 gsm, a cold press durable surface, and acid-free nature.
They can also be used for acrylic, pen, ink, charcoal, pastel, etc., painting method. Even if you buy it for gouache artwork initially, you can eventually use it for other methods.
The thing with the cold press is- you can use both sides. One side has a smooth surface, and the other has a textured surface.
Besides that, you can wash, erase or scrap your gouache with a durable surface, and the 300 gsm paper will withstand it.
I know being an artist, you don’t want your gouache to turn yellow. That is why this white-colored paper is acid-free; it won’t turn yellow over time.
100510941 XL Series Watercolor Pad from Canson comes in 3 different sizing- 11″ x 14″, 12″ x 18″ and 18″ x 24″. You can choose one according to your gouache canvas requirement.
Key Features :
- With a cold press surface, you can paint your gouache on both sides
- Acid-free, natural white paper; no more yellow gouache for you
- Available in different sizes for convenience
- It can be used for a various painting method
2. Paul Rubens Watercolor Paper Block
Paul Rubens is a China-based paper manufacturing brand. This time they have come up with their 100% cotton-made paper that has a thickness of 300 gsm, hot-pressed smooth surface, and acid-free nature. All of these come as leather-covered paper blocks.
Are you worried that your gouache would turn yellow? Not with this paper; it is acid-free. Unlike some typical papers available in the market, this one won’t turn yellow even if time passes.
Take your brush and start gouache painting on it; you will see it can handle taping, scraping, scrubbing, masking, and other techniques too. That is because it is 100% cotton made so that it can bear a lot.
I know being an artist, when you look for gouache papers, you will look for heavier ones and thick ones. And this paper is of 300 gsm; a perfect paper for gouache.
The thing with hot-pressed paper is- they are smoother than any paper in the market. The paint also dries fast on hot-pressed papers. As a result, you can paint specific details and can apply smooth washes too.
That’s not all! Watercolor Paper Block from Paul Rubens comes in colorful (pink and black) leather covers. So, you can take it on art walks without worrying about your gouache paper catching dirt.
Key Features :
- The hot-pressed paper will let you apply smooth washes
- Thanks to the acid-free nature, your gouache won’t turn yellow
- 100% Cotton made paper, so it is durable
- 300 gsm thickness fulfills the gouache paper requirements
- Thanks to the leather cover, it is travel-friendly
3. Arches Watercolor Paper Pad, 140 pound
The Watercolor Paper Pad from Arches is acid-free, cold-pressed, 300 gsm thick, and made from a cylinder mold with cotton material. With all these features, you can consider it as the best paper for watercolor painting.
The thing with gouache paper is- it requires a certain amount of thickness so that the paper can withstand water washes. With this paper, you don’t have to worry about those things; it has a thickness of 300 gsm, which is enough for any gouache paper.
No artist would want their masterpiece to get destroyed after some months. So, keeping that in mind, the manufacturer made this paper acid-free, and it can last for 200 years if stored properly.
While most of the large Arches sheets come with a brand name stamped on them, you can rest assured about this item. There will be no company watermark on the paper, and your gouache won’t look cheap.
Since the paper is cold-pressed, it can reflect lights well. As an artist, it will be easier for you to achieve certain details for your gouache artwork.
As for the cylinder, mold-made structure, the paper comes out durable and water resilient. So, you can easily apply various watercolor techniques to your gouache.
Key Features :
- 300 gsm meets the standard gouache paper requirements
- Cold press surface enables you to paint detailed gouache art-piece
- Cylinder mold ensures the paper is durable and resilient
- Acid-free so your gouache can last 200 years; if stored properly
- No watermark or brand name stamp on the paper
4. Arteza Watercolor Sketchbooks 68 Sheets
Arteza is a company that some artists found. As a result, they can better understand an artist’s need and provide accordingly.
This 300 gsm paper can be considered the best paper to use for watercolor. Because it comes with features like- linen-bound durable cover book, dual-sided flexibility, cold-pressed surface, acid-free nature, and compatibility with various watercolor techniques.
Not only that, the sketchbook comes with 2 pack or 3 pack packaging, with 68 sheets in each. Therefore, you can keep 2 separate gouache books- one for home and another in your car for the art-walk purpose.
The linen-bound durable cover sketchbook makes sure that your gouache paper stays securely closed. So, it won’t bend or catch dirt on it if you travel.
Besides, it is designed to fit just fine in any purse, backpack, or even the glove compartment of your car.
As for the cold-press texture, you can gouache paint on both sides. There will be a smooth surface on one side and a slightly textured one on the other side.
The papers are acid-free, so the color of your gouache artwork won’t fade away with time. Even if you open the painting after years, you will find it intact.
Key Features :
- The travel-friendly design allows you to carry it in your backpack
- Dual-sided flexibility ensures that you get twice the amount of space
- Linen bound durable cover protects your gouache paper from dirt
- The acid-free feature keeps your gouache artwork intact
5. Zenacolor 64 Pages Watercolor Paper For Gouache
Zenacolor is a French-based paper manufacturing brand. This time, their 300 gsm paper comes with an easy-detachment option, acid-free trait, and cold press surface.
How many times does your heart skip a beat while detaching a gouache paper from the sketchbook? I bet it’s countless. To solve that problem of yours, Zenacolor offers you an easy detachment option. Each page is glued to the pad, so you have to pick an edge and boom! It’s done without any tearing.
Since the paper is acid-free, your gouache masterpiece can stay undamaged for about 200 years. Although it has to be stored properly for that to happen, your artwork won’t turn yellow now.
As for the thickness, the paper is 300 gsm which is just perfect for any gouache paint. Go ahead and apply watercolor techniques to it. You will notice the paper is thick enough to survive water washes. And that’s all we need!
Key Features :
- 300 gsm satisfies the thickness demand of gouache paper
- Due to Acid-free nature, your gouache artwork can be stored for 200 years
- Offers easy detachment options for better convenience
- Suitable for different color techniques
6. MozArt Premium Cold Pressed Paper
MozArt Supplies is a brand that was founded by a husband-wife duo in 2016. Both of them are artists, so they manufacture their products according to an artist’s need. Therefore, you are guaranteed to have satisfactory service from it!
As for the 300 gsm thickness, the paper will be perfect for your gouache painting. It is thick enough so it won’t warp; any fraying will not take place either.
Do you water wash your gouache a lot? Any kind of watercolor technique can be applied to this paper. Be it a flat wash, wet on wet, graded wash, or color blending, the paper will survive it just fine.
Want to store your gouache for a very long time? Buy this paper as it is acid-free. Hence, it can be stored for 200 years, and color fading won’t even take place.
Yup! You are getting glue bounded pad. Now, you don’t have to take the risk of tearing apart your precious gouache artwork while detaching it from the book. Each paper comes in glue, so all you have to do is find a short edge and pull it from there.
Key Features :
- 300 gsm paper; so, no warping, fraying, or clumping will take place
- It works perfectly with various watercolor techniques
- With glue bounded pad; you can enjoy easy tearing
- Acid-free trait lets you store your gouache for a long time
7. UCreate Paper For Watercolor Painting
UCreate is a Pacon trademark product. If you are looking for some recyclable gouache papers, then this 300 gsm crafty is for you.
With an SFI certification and acid-free nature, this paper is perfect for a larger group of people. It works well for any wet media technique.
Being an artist, you need to store your gouache. That’s why UCreate Watercolor paper from Paconare is acid-free. Your gouache artwork can last for 200 years without becoming yellow or brown if you store it correctly.
Gouache papers need to be thick enough to withstand the water washes. And this paper is labeled as a super heavyweight. It has a thickness of 300 gsm which means it is 140lb thick. Therefore, you’ll have an optimal experience without any doubt.
If you are a teacher who needs to provide gouache paper in the classroom or a student who needs to practice lots of gouache artworks, go with this product. With 50 sheets in a single pack, the paper is perfect for a larger group of people.
Key Features :
- Heavyweight 300 gsm; perfect for gouache paints
- Acid-free, your gouache art piece won’t turn brown or yellow
- SFI certification ensures that the paper is recyclable
- The papers work well with various wet medium techniques
8. Arteza Watercolor Paper Pad Expert
Love gouache paper from Arteza? Here is another one for you that comes with a pack of 2. These papers have a thickness of 300 gsm and a surface of cold press texture. The book is glue-bounded, acid-free, and has dual-sided flexibility.
As for the cold press surface, you can practice a variety of gouache painting techniques on it. Cold press papers have more tooth (texture) on them, letting you layer paint as much as possible.
Each sheet is bound by glue to the pad. Hence, you no longer have to take the risk of paper tearing when you detach your gouache from the pad. Isn’t that impressive?
With this paper, you can have twice the space to play around with your gouache paint because it has two different textures on two sides. One surface has a tooth, and another is smooth. Both can be used for gouache.
Since it is acid-free, the color of your gouache masterpiece won’t fade away with time. Even if you open the sketchbook after several years, you will find the colors are still intact.
Key Features :
- Cold press texture enables you to apply multiple gouache layer
- 300 gsm meets the thickness requirement for a gouache paper
- With dual side flexibility, you have twice the amount of space
- Glue bound papers enable you to detach your creation easily
9. Genuine Crafts Paper To Use For Watercolor
The best paper for gouache review will remain incomplete if I don’t mention the Watercolor Paper ad from Genuine Crafts. They are also known as Gen Crafts. They have features like cold press surface; glue bounded pad, wood blended paper, 300 gsm thickness, and acid-free nature.
While typical papers are not that thick, this gouache paper from Gen Crafts has a thickness of 300 gsm. That means you can use water painting techniques on this paper, and it won’t get damaged.
Let it be a regular painting or a gouache one; no artist would ever like to watch their masterpiece becoming yellow or brown as time passes – to solve that problem of yours, the paper is acid-free. The color of your creation will not disappear into thin air now.
As for the glue bounded pad, I know that you almost get a heart attack every time you want to detach your gouache. Not anymore, though! With this pad, you don’t have to take the risk of tearing. Each of the sheets comes glue-bounded to the pad, and they are easily detachable.
With cold press texture, your gouache will come out vibrant colored. You will be able you apply several layers of color to the paper.
Wood pulp paper is usually durable, and GenCraft makes its papers with wood pulp. As a result, you will be getting durable paper for your gouache artwork.
Key Features :
- The paper is acid-free, so your gouache won’t become brown
- 300 gsm wood blended paper ensures the durability of the paper
- Thanks to old press texture, you can apply multiple layers of color
- Glue bound feature lets you tear apart the papers easily
10. Watercolor Paper Pad – 30 Sheets White Paper
Art-n-Fly offers quality products at a low price. This time it is their 300 gsm Watercolor Paper pad that is acid-free, cold-pressed, and glues bounded. So, if you are looking for a budget item, go for this one.
Since the paper is pH neutral (acid-free), your gouache creations won’t lose their actual color even if time passes. Acid-free papers can last for 200 years, and this one can too if you store it properly.
Now, let’s talk about the thickness of the gouache paper. Watercolor Paper Pad from Art-n-Fly has a thickness of 300 gsm, enough for you to use this technique on it. It will be able to withstand your water washes.
As for the easy-tear-binding feature- you can easily remove your gouache masterpiece from the pad. You no longer have to go through mini heart attacks worrying about whether you will tear apart your precious artwork. Each paper is glue bounded, and you have to find an edge.
The thing with cold press textured paper is- they are suitable for multiple layering. Since this one has a cold-press surface, you will be able to play with gouache color, and it won’t even bleed.
Key Features :
- Cold press surface lets you enjoy several layering of color
- Acid-free paper so the color won’t fade away with time
- 300 gsm paper meets the standard requirement for gouache paper
- With easy-tear-binding there will be no more unfortunate accidents
Comparison Chart Of Paper For Gouache
Paper For Gouache Buying Guide
So, you want to create jaw-dropping gouache but know less about paper criteria. Don’t worry! I’ve got you covered! Read through, and you will get to know what features you should look for in a gouache paper.
Being Acid-free Is a Necessity
Let it be gouache paper or any other paper; never compromise with an acid-free feature. Well, if the paper is not pH neutral, then it will deteriorate in no time.
You will leave it for months only to find out later that the paper has lost its color. It has become brown or yellow like a typical newspaper.
You don’t want that for your precious gouache creation, right? That’s why acid-free paper is necessary.
Besides, these papers can last 200 years; your gouache can be stored well. So, always check if the paper you are buying is acid-free or not.
Thickness: The Heavier, the Better
As an artist, you might already know that gouache paintings need thicker paper than other art methods. That is because it has to be able to bear all those rough water washes.
The golden rule is that it will be considered the most suitable paper for gouache if it is thick enough.
On the other hand, a thin paper won’t withstand water techniques- either it will bleed or won’t absorb the color properly.
It might even get torn with all those water. So, make sure you buy a heavy paper that is thick enough to withstand various water applications.
Usually, a gouache paper has a minimum thickness requirement of 200 gsm. But if you go for the heavier ones, it is better. Most of the paper I listed above has a thickness of 300 gsm, so that you can check one of those out.
Sometimes, you might find pound metric instead of gsm. Just know that 200 gsm paper is 110 lb and 300 gsm paper is 140, and you are good to go. Once again, before buying your gouache paper, don’t ever forget to check its thickness.
Make sure to check what type of surface your gouache paper has. I would recommend you to buy the one that has more teeth. The textured papers allow an artist to apply many paint layers.
So, if you want to play with the colors, make sure you buy the papers with textured surfaces.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is GSM?
GSM is grams per square meter. It is an indicator to determine the thickness of a paper.
2. What is the minimum gsm requirement for gouache paper?
The minimum gsm requirement for gouache is 200.
3. Can I use watercolor paper for gouache and vice-versa?
Yes! It is absolutely fine to use watercolor paper for gouache. These papers are the best bet for any gouache artwork. That is because these are manufactured in such a way that they can handle wet applications.
So, you can use any paper specially designed to handle water mediums for your gouache paint.
4: Hot-press vs. cold press?
The thing that differs between the hot press and cold press is the surface texture difference. Hot-press papers are smoother compared to cold-pressed ones.
In contrast, cold press paper is textured on one side and slightly smoother on the other side. Both are suitable for gouache artworks.
5. Can gouache paper be used on printers?
Technically, no! You can’t use gouache paper on printers as they are heavier than typical papers. Normal printers can take up to 220 gsm papers, where gouache paper is usually 300 gsm. So, if you use it on the printer, the machine might get damaged.
Getting the best paper for gouache isn’t an easy task! If you make one mistake, your masterpiece will be ruined in no time! And, we cannot afford that kind of risk!
Here we’ve suggested the top ten options available in the market right now. But if you’re still a bit confused, let us give you a quick suggestion.
For an overall experience, go for the Canson 100510941 XL Series Watercolor Pad. They’re acid-free, come with the perfect thickness, and are super affordable. And that’s everything we need.
Moreover, the Paul Rubens Watercolor Paper Block is another excellent option for you. It is hot-pressed, thick, and highly durable. So, you can use it without any trouble.