Today we're taking a look at Canson's Moulin du Roy watercolor paper! This is by popular request, and I've mentioned using and enjoying Moulin du Roy on Twitter several times in the past. Moulin du Roy is available in both hot and cold press, but today's review focuses on their cold press offering.
For a glossary of common watercolor terms, please check out this post!
For common watercolor paper terms and types, check out this post!
For recommendations on watercolor papers for comics, check this post out.
Note: All illustrations in this post were painted on Canson Moulin du Roy 24cm x 32cm paper.
Available in tape-bound pad, roll, or on blocks
Available in Cold, Rough, and Hot Press
100% Cottonrag Watercolor Paper
Machine made using moulds
140lb and 300 lb weights
Sheet- 56cm x 76cm
Roll: 1.30m x 9.15m
Block: 23cm x 30.5cm and 30.5cm x 45.5cm
Pad, top glued: 24cm x 32cm and 30cm x 40cm
Acid free, naturally white
Made without bleaching agents
I've used Canson's Moulin du Roy for a few years now, particularly for my larger watercolor illustrations. Although it's a bit pricier than cellulose papers, it's an affordable alternative to Arches that may be appealing to illustrators who work with pad and block bound papers:
Moulin du Roy 9X12 Block, 140lb, 20 sheets- $21.18 on Amazon
Arches 9x12 Coldpress Block, 140lb, 20 sheets- $36.99 on Amazon
Arches 9x12 Coldpress Block, 140lb, 20 sheets-$25.16 on Blick
Compared to Arches, Moulin du Roy is soft and a bit fabric like. Colors dry a bit muted, and may require additional layers. Otherwise, I find it quite comparable, and use it as an alternative to Arches for larger illustration sizes.
Although there are some claims that this handles similarly to handmade papers, Moulin du Roy does not handle anything like the handmade watercolor papers I've had the pleasure of trying (Shizen and Khaldi).
Cold Press Moulin du Roy has minimal, fairly soft tooth, and may be suitable for those who do not enjoy aggressive tooth on watercolor papers. It's a fairly soft paper, and may not take fine detail in watercolor well. It may also be too soft for heavy graphite work, and may not take sketching, erasing, and revision well.
I'm able to run sheets of Canson Moulin du Roy through my large Canon Pixma Pro 9000 Mk II (this seems to be the new version) printer in order to print water soluble bluelines, making this an excellent paper option for artists who enjoy working with one foot in the digital realm, or for artists who work in successive stages.
Moulin du Roy (Roi) translates to Mill of the King. It seems that many artists in the fine art vein find this paper inferior to Arches, although I've also gotten feedback that Arches has had a recent bout with bad batches. When it comes to watercolor paper, its best to try it for yourself- if you'd like to try Moulin du Roy on the cheap, you can request a sample at your local mom and pop art supply store, or write to Canson to request a sample.
I really enjoy painting on Moulin du Roy. I find it comparable in quality to Cold Press Arches, without quite as much tooth. It does require stretching and support (for 140lb at least, which is all I've used), but it handles blends and illustration beautifully. It has gotten increasingly hard to find- it seems that Canson may have replaced it with L'Aquarelle Heritage, but if you can find it, I recommend giving it a try.
Outside Sources and Second Opinions
Canson Moulin du Roy
WetCanvas: Canson Moulin du Roy
Jackson's Art Blog- Moulin du Roy
Moulin du Roy Watercolour Paper with Pascal Pihen
See Be Draw: Canson Moulin du Roy
Watercolor Paper Review of: Strathmore 500, Canson Moulin du Roy, Bee Paper
The Ultimate Watercolor Paper Comparison| Comparing 24 Types of Watercolor Paper (Part 1)