L’Aquarelle Canson Heritage

L'Aquarelle Canson Heritage

Canson Heritage is a relatively new watercolor paper from Canson, a French paper manufacturer with 16th century traditions. Canson Heritage is their first watercolor paper of real top quality.

Once upon a time, Canson was a distributor of the well-known quality paper Arches. However, Arches left Canson for Colart, a Swedish company that also owns Winsor & Newton. After Canson lost Arches, they started producing Heritage, which was their first really high-quality watercolor paper. They previously had many good watercolor papers but lacked a really top quality paper.

When Canson Heritage first came to the Swedish market, I remember it was presented as an Arches killer. Can it really be the case that a watercolor paper that started production in 2016 can seriously compete with a paper with very old ancestry and which many believe was the best.

The paper has a natural surface that emphasizes the properties of granulating colors in a natural way. The color adheres fairly well to the paper.

Canson Heritage is available in two thicknesses: 140 lb (300 gr/m²) and 300 lb (640 gr/m²). Three different surfaces are available: cold pressed, hot pressed and rough.

The paper is available in sheets 22 X 30 inches (56 X 76 cm), as blocks with only one side glued and as blocks with all four sides glued. Roll is also available but only in 140 lb (300 gr / m²). The color of the paper is white, not really high white, but almost. No optical brighteners are used to create the whiteness of the paper.

The glue in the paper and on the surface is not based on animal products, so vegans can use it. You avoid the “wet dog” smell that some papers that have gelatin sizing have when they are wet. I think it is the sizing that contributes to the slightly rough surface that the paper has when you put a brush stroke on dry paper. I’m convinced that it’s the Sizing that makes the paper behave so convincingly in wet on wet technique. It is a fantastic paper to paint wet on wet on, smooth and nice transitions, no surprises, and it keeps the moisture for a long time so you do not have to be in such a hurry.

Some artists praise the paper’s possibilities for late corrections, that it is easy to lift off dry paint. I think it works pretty well. Sure, colors can be lifted off, but not remarkably well. It’s still a technique I almost never use, so that aspect does not worry me.

One thing that worries me though, is that the paper is easily torn apart when removing larger areas with masking fluid. Small dots or lines of masking fluid are not a problem, but larger surfaces can be. It has happened to me more than once that Canson Heritage has not been able to handle masking fluid, that the paper surface has come loose and followed the masking when I remove it. What is left can not be painted on, it is only to discard the painting. You should also be a little careful about using masking tape on Heritage.

In summary, it can be said that Canson Heritage is a very good watercolor paper. It excels in wet in wet technique, it works very well with layering or glazing painting. It gives brilliant and Vibrant colors, much thanks to its sizing but also because of its whiteness. It is a versatile paper that I recommend, but one should be aware that the paper can be sensitive to larger areas of masking liquid and even masking tape.


This is an example of how well Canson Heritage behaves when painting wet on wet, basically the whole stone is painted with wet on wet technique and the paper helps to achieve a good result. No surprises or oddities, the color flows out evenly and controlled. You have plenty of time to paint, the paper retains moisture for a long time.

Name: L’Aquarelle Canson Heritage
Manufacturer: Canson
Manufacturing method: Mold made
Material: 100% cotton
Sizing : Internally in the pulp and on the surface, no animal glue.
Surface: Available as cold pressed, hot pressed and rough
Format: sheets 56 x 76 cm (22 X 30 inches), blocks and roll.
Thickness: 300g/m² 640g/m² (140 lb and 300 lb)
Color: White
Manufacturer’s Website: https://en.canson.com/watercolour/heritage

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Birgit
Birgit
2 months ago

Thank you very much for that great blog and so much helpful information!

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