Lana is an old French paper mill, it has been around since the 17th century, specifically 1590. The name of their watercolor paper is Lanaquarelle. The paper used to be handmade but nowadays is mold made.

The paper is available in thicknesses of 190, 300 and 640 gr² (90, 140 and 300 lb) but the thinnest seems to be hard to find. The color is white, not completely white but almost, it is made of 100% cotton.

Lana paper mill 100 years ago
The paper mill 100 years ago
Bibliothèque municipale d’Épinal, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
Num risation de la carte postale 000004294 de la bmi Epinal-Golbey
Lana paper mill today
The paper mill today
Ji-Elle, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

It is available as blocks in different sizes and thicknesses and in rolls (300gr², 140 lb) and as sheets in the size 56X76 cm (22″X30″) in various thicknesses and 101X152 cm (40″X60″) only 640 gr² (300 lb).

The paper in sheets has deckle edge all around, two natural and two torn, which is customary. The rough paper is considerably smoother than this type of surface usually is. Lanaquarelle’s rough paper has a surface that is more similar to the cold-pressed of other papers.

Tape sample of Lana
Tape sample of Lana (left) and Ache’s paper (right). Regular transparent tape is attached to the watercolor paper and then transferred to a dark surface so that you can see how much paper fiber is attached. The more fibers, the softer the paper.

Lanaquarelle is sparingly sized with gelatin, both in the paper pulp and on the surface. The fact that it is not heavily sized makes it soft and absorbent.

That the paper is only slightly sized becomes obvious at the first brush stroke. The paint is absorbed quite quickly by the paper, and it also dries quite quickly. Furthermore, the paper is sensitive to many overpaintings and rubbing, the paper surface takes a beating from such treatment.

The fact that it is not heavily sized is also noticeable when using flocculating and granulating colors, they are quickly absorbed by the paper and therefore do not have time to form the patterns that distinguish them.

It is the same with colors that form a hard edge, this does not have time to be created before the color has been absorbed, colors that leave a hard edge only get an insignificant line around a fluidly painted surface.

However, the paper is very nice to paint on, it may not be suitable for those who are looking for effects and want the characteristics of the colors to be emphasized. It soaks up fluidly painted paint in a controlled and predictable manner. Wet on wet technique works amazingly well, although you have to be quite fast. There are never any oddities or unpleasant surprises.

A very well-behaved paper that will surely suit many watercolor artists, but not those who are daredevils and like challenges.

But beware of masking and rubbing, it can damage the paper. Nor is it good for many layers of paint on top of each other. Layer on layer technique suits Lanaquarelle less well.

For me, who often uses lots of water and paint, this paper works great. Fluidly painted dark surfaces become smooth and beautiful effortlessly. But I miss the colors’ own expression on this paper. The result is a bit boring, and without personality.

Lanaquarelle's Quite a nice surface and the paint comes off quite easily.
Quite a nice surface and the paint comes off quite easily.
A painting done on Lanaquarelle
A painting done on Lanaquarelle

Name: Lanaquarelle
Manufacturer: Lana
Manufacturing method: Mould made
Material: 100% Cotton
Sizing: Gelatine surface sized, internally sized
Surface: Cold pressed, Hot pressed and Rough
Thickness:190g/m² (90lb), 300 gr/m² (140lb), 638g/m² (300lb)
Color: Natural white

Manufacturer website:
(A website that is more beautiful than functional,
an all too common phenomenon these days.)

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