Lanaquarelle from LANA is mould-made watercolour paper made in France.
This watercolour paper block was sent to me from a generous reader. The paper is available in roll, blocks and sheets in various sizes.
Here's a price comparison (USD) against other brands for a 9 by 12 inch blocks, arranged from according to price per piece:
- Saunders Waterford (20 sheets) - $51.39 ($2.57 per piece)
- Lanaquarelle - $35.99 ($1.80 per piece)
- Arches (20 sheets) - $29.35 ($1.50 per piece)
- Fabriano Artistico (20 sheets) - $25.99 ($1.30 per piece)
- Fluid 100 (15 sheets) - $19.71 ($1.31 per piece)
- Blick Premier (20 sheets) - $23.48 ($1.18 per piece)
- Canson Montval (15 sheets) - $13.39 ($0.90 per piece)
Prices are from Blick Art Materials (USA) at the time of this review. Prices may vary depending on whether there are promotions.
Lanaquarelle is more noticeably expensive than even the popular Arches and Fabriano.
Saunders Waterford from St Cuthbert Mill in UK is significantly more expensive. Maybe that's due to importing UK paper to USA. Prices for this paper from Jackson's Art (UK) is US $38.35 which is sill more expensive than all other paper listed above. Impressive.
By the way, I'm a big fan of Fabriano Artistico watercolour paper although I don't think it performs as well compared to Arches when it comes to wet on wet.
Lanaquarelle watercolour paper performance is a mix of Arches and Fabriano Artistico. The paper is performs extremely well with wet on wet techniques and the coldpress texture is not as rough compared to Arches coldpress, making it more suitable for use with pen and ink watercolour sketches. It's better than both Arches and Fabriano Artistico in my opinion, at least for the art I make which is mostly pen, ink and watercolour sketches.
Watercolour appears very vibrant on the paper.
The paper is more white compared to the off-white of Fabriano Artistico (Traditional) and Arches. But it's not as white compared to bright white watercolour paper.
By the way, I got the paper bound into a hardcover sketchbook by the folks at SPD Singapore.
According to Legion Paper, Lanaquarelle "is not heavily sized giving it a softer handle than most watercolor papers without compromising its ability to take dry brush techniques or wet on wet applications".
The sizing is done really well. It's easy to use wet on wet techniques on this paper. The paper has the right absorbency to allow paint to remain on paper and move around. Colours are able to blend easily and smoothly. This is one aspect of high quality 100% cotton watercolour paper. The performance here is slightly better than Fabriano Artistico and comparable to Arches.
There's no noticeable pattern with the coldpress texture, and with the right granulating paint, you can get some really beautiful textures.
The paper works great with pen and ink. I was still able draw lines with solid edges easily. On Arches, my ink lines will have rougher edges so Arches is really for more painting than anything else. Lanaquarelle should work well as a mixed media paper except for dry media because there's still texture unless you don't mind the white of the paper showing through when you use coloured pencils or pastels.
It's extremely satisfying to be drawing and painting on this paper.
As mentioned above, the performance is a mix of the better aspects of Arches (sizing) and Fabriano (surface texture) and the paper is more white which is something I prefer too. In other words, this watercolour paper performs really well. It's able to handle wet on wet techniques, heavy washes, and the cotton content makes it durable.
Lanaquarelle is an excellent watercolour paper if you have the budget for it. Definitely get it if you can find it cheaper than Arches and Fabriano Artistico.
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