Canson's L'Aquarell Heritage Review

Today's review is for Canson's L'Aquarell Heritage watercolor paper, another frequent request from readers.   L'Aquarelle Heritage seems to have taken the place of Moulin du Roy, and is far easier to find in a variety of art stores.

Heritage L'Aquarell is available in Rough, Cold, and Hot press, but we're looking at 140lb Cold Press in today's review.

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: Illustrations in this post were painted on Heritage L'Aquarelle 9x12, 140lb coldpress paper.

The Stats:
Machine made using a mould
Cold, Hot, and Rough Press
140lb and 300lb
Cotton Rag
Sheet- 56 cm x 76 cm
 Roll- 1.52 cm x 4.57 m
Top bound pad- 23 cm x 31 cm, 26 cm x 36 cm
Block- 23 cm  x 31 cm, 26 cm x 36 cm, 31 cm x 41 cm,  36 cm x 51 cm
Acid free
No optical brighteners added
Where to Buy: Amazon, Blick, Jerry's Artarama
Starch Sized (not gelatin sized)

At one point, Canson acted as a distributor for Arches papers, a very popular choice for watercolor artists.  Arches has since left Canson and is now distributed by Col-Arts (Winsor and Newton's parent company) and Canson has launched L'Aquarelle/L'Aquarell (I've seen it spelled both ways, but I assume the proper spelling is the feminine aquarelle) Heritage in its place.  Some claim that L'Aquarelle handles just like Arches- I really think that boils down to how you handle your watercolor, and your experience may vary.

L'Aquarelle Canson Heritage
Heritage Watercolor Block, 140lb, 9"x12", 20 sheets- $38.40 on Blick
Heritage Watercolor Block, 140lb, 9"x12", 20 sheets- $42.07on Amazon

Arches 9x12 Coldpress Block, 140lb, 20 sheets- $36.99 on Amazon
Arches 9x12 Coldpress Block, 140lb, 20 sheets-$25.16 on Blick

Canson Moulin du Roy
Moulin du Roy 9X12 Block, 140lb, 20 sheets- $21.18 on Amazon

L'Aquarelle Heritage is much easier to find than Moulin du Roy, but I wouldn't consider it an apt replacement.  I find the longer open time frustrating and struggle with fuzzy, bleeding lines when trying to apply fine detail.

When toning paper and working with large washes, I find my colors end up muddier than on similar cotton rag artist papers.  I find the texture of the paper to be too uniform as well.  Although I only use handmade papers occasionally, I do prefer a bit of texture to my watercolor papers, and will occasionally paint on rough press.

I use L'Aquarelle Heritage infrequently, as it's a struggle to get it to handle the way I wish.  When painting an illustration where I need reliable results and predictable handling, I'll reach for Kilimanjaro or Arches over L'Aquarelle Heritage.

I used the above illustration in my post Pushing Through The Ugly.  The post is about pushing past the worst to create something truly good, but I feel fighting with the quirks of the L'Aquarelle Heritage paper contributed to a lot of that ugly.

The Verdict:

Despite both being Canson products, I find L'Aquarelle Heritage temperamental and somewhat difficult to use compared to Moulin du Roy.  I struggle to achieve the desired effects, and find my paintings often end up muddy or difficult to control.  This could be due to the fact that L'Aquarelle Heritage is designed to stay open and workable longer, and is also designed for lifting- two properties that do not always lend themselves well to the type of illustration I do.

Compared to other cotton rag watercolor papers, I prefer Kilimanjaro, Moulin du Roy, Fluid 100, and Arches Cold Press to L'Aquarelle Heritage.

Not every paper is designed as a general use watercolor paper, or designed to please every artist.  I'm not a fan of Canson's L'Aquarelle Heritage, and don't enjoy using it for my illustrations.

Resources and Second Opinions: 

Open Canvas: Has anyone used the new Canson Heritage Paper?
Canson Heritage- An Exceptional Paper and We Prove It To You

L'Aquarelle Canson Heritage- Comparative Test- Rendering
L'Aquarelle Canson Heritage- Comparative Test- Feeling
L'Aquarelle Canson Heritage-Comparative Test-Lifting
L'Aquarelle Canson Heritage-Comparative Test-Lifting

Blick Reviews: L'Aquarelle Canson Heritage
Canson Heritage- The Arches Killer
The Art Cart- Its Finally Here: L'Aquarelle Canson Heritage Watercolor Paper
Jackson's: Trying Out Canson Heritage Watercolor Paper


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