Indigo Artpapers is a company based in Canada that sells and distributes watercolour paper made in India.
I discovered this brand by accident while searching through Amazon.sg. I've had good experience with another handmade watercolour paper (Khadi) so I bought the Indigo Artpapers to test.
The pack that I bought came with five sheets of 16 x 20 inch 100% cotton 300GSM coldpress watercolour paper. It cost S$34.26 (~US $26) with shipping included. At the time of this review, it's available on Amazon.com but not on Amazon.sg anymore.
This handmade watercolour paper, sometimes called rag paper, comes with deckled edges on all four sides.
The paper is ivory white, almost a bright white, which is able to reproduce colours vibrantly.
I don't paint on large single sheet of paper so I got the good folks at SPD Singapore to make a sketchbook using the paper. The sketchbook above is a 10 x 8 inch hardcover with 40 pages. The quality of the bookbinding from SPD Singapore is excellent. I have had them bind several sketchbooks for me over the years. Binding services is around S$20 - 25 depending on the size of the sketchbook.
The deckled edges were cut straight.
This coldpress texture is somewhere between rough and the sandy Arches and Fabriano coldpress texture.
Watercolours are vibrant on the paper because it's bright white, or as the company says, ivory white. The paper is acid-free so it should not turn yellow. The paper was bought in 2018 and now in 2021, it still looks really white.
Here's a mixed media sketchbook with pen, ink, watercolour and POSCA markers.
Because the paper is a rougher coldpress texture, how the pen nib moves will be affected slightly by the texture. Drawing straight lines is possible obviously but there may be slight wobble as the pen nib goes in and out of the valley of the paper
I really enjoyed drawing with pen and ink on this paper because the lines are solid and the paper handles ink really well with hard edges with no feathering.
Wet on wet techniques are possible so you can get colours to blend nicely. The paper is certainly thick enough for heavy washes.
Paper is thick but it will still buckle slightly with water. You may need to prepare or stretch the watercolour paper if you want to paint on the large sheet.
Watercolour works really nicely on this paper.
Granulation of paint can be seen very clearly on this paper.
Indigo Artpapers also makes other paper products such as sketchbooks, mixed media paper, mixed cotton content watercolour paper.
Just for comparison purposes, a sheet of 16 x 20 Indigo Artpapers is US $5.20, Arches is $3.75 and 14 x 20" Fabriano Artistico is $3.13. Arches and Fabriano are already expensive but they have the quality to match. Indigo Artpapers is significantly more expensive.
The main thing going for handmade paper is for the paper texture which is more raw, unpredictable, different? It might still be worth getting if you want to try something different. I do enjoy drawing and painting on handmade paper.