Best Paper For Gouache

Best Paper For Gouache

Gouache paint is a type of watercolor paint that has a very thick consistency. It is often used for painting illustrations, because it can be layered to create very rich colors. Because gouache paint is so thick, it needs to be applied to a very smooth surface, or else the texture of the paper will show through and the finished painting will look rough.

The best paper for gouache is a hot press watercolor paper. This type of paper has a very smooth surface, which is perfect for painting with gouache. The smooth surface of the paper will allow you to create very crisp lines and vibrant colors. Hot press watercolor paper is also very durable, so it will stand up to a lot of wear and tear.

If you are looking for a less expensive option, you can also use cold press paper. This type of paper has a slightly textured surface, which can give your painting a more natural look. However, because the surface is not as smooth as hot press paper, it may be more difficult to create crisp lines and vibrant colors.

Whatever type of paper you choose, make sure that it is acid-free and archival quality. This will ensure that your painting will last for many years to come.

I’ve taken the time to take an in-depth look at some of the papers available and have left my reviews on my personal favourites below. Read on to find out more…

01) Canson Watercolor Paper Bulk Pack for Wet and Dry Media

90 Pound, 12 x 18 Inch, 500 Sheets

Canson Watercolor Paper Bulk Pack for Wet and Dry Media main image


•High-quality paper.

• Watercolor finish

• Performs well when mixed with wet and dry media

• Easy to work with.

• Each pack contains around 500 sheets.


The process of getting started in gouache painting and gouache paints, in general, can be a bit confusing for most beginner painters. So if you don’t want to go through all that hassle and want something simple to get you started, this is possibly the best paper for gouache and will suit all your gouache painting needs.


The papers come in well-rounded packaging. So, everything inside is secured and not prone to damage. The price you pay for these is going to be a bit more than your usual mixed media paper. But I can assure you it will be way better than those thick drawing papers you might find on sketchbooks or watercolor pads. This is something that commercial artists would use for their paintings.

Secondly, it can take a lot of work before the paper for gouache even begins to think about starting to break down. No matter what type of gouache paints you use, it will take it all in. Overall, this holds up really well.

02) Sax Watercolor Beginner Paper

90 lbs, 12 x 18 Inches, Natural White, Pack of 500

Sax Watercolor Beginner Paper main image


• Ideal for gouache paintings, can be used for watercolor and acrylic painting as well.

• Hot pressed paper.

• Acid-free paper.

• Dries quickly as the paper lets in a very less amount of pigments.

• Stands well with a flat wash or even repetitive washes.


A French-made gouache paper at this price point is rare. Open it up, and you’re good to go…


Sax Watercolor Paper measuring 12 x 18 inches is ideal for all wet techniques with watercolor, gouache and acrylic. Paper with 90 lb basis weight is acid-free and extremely resistant to repeated washings. Hot press with proper amount of sizing added to help with lifts. Natural white paper with no added optical brighteners. Paper is sold as 500 per ream.

I really love Sax Watercolor Paper (good size, measuring 12 x 18 inches). It is ideal for all wet techniques with watercolor, gouache, and acrylic. The paper has a 90 lb basis weight, is acid-free, and is extremely resistant to repeated washings. As you probably know, I like to use hot press paper because it has the right amount of sizing added to help with lifts. The natural white paper has no added optical brighteners, and it is sold as 500 per ream.

I highly recommend this paper for anyone who wants to try their hand at gouache painting!

03) Fabriano Artistico Watercolor Paper 300 lb

Hot Press 10-Pack 22×30″ – Extra White

Fabriano Artistico Watercolor Paper 300 lb main image


• Extra white color shade.

• 22×30 in inches- optimal size.

• Watercolor finish.

• Safe and secured finish.

• High quality.


One complaint that painters often post on gouache reviews of paper is that paint creases easily. You will be glad to know that you won’t face any such issues with this. As it is a thicker paper than most gouache paint papers, this paper certainly won’t crease as easily.


The paper is super strong and can hold multiple layers of paint simultaneously. This is crucial when it comes to the paint layers of gouache all at once. The price for this might be a bit on the higher side, but you will get your money’s worth with repeated washes.

04) Hahnemuhle Harmony Watercolor Paper 10 Sheets

28″ X 40″ Rough Texture

Hahnemuhle Harmony Watercolor Paper 10 Sheets main image


• 300 gsm

• German paper for gouache painting

• Watercolor paper

• Rough textured paper

• Surface sizing


The two sizes of Hahnemuhle Harmony watercolor paper are 20″ x 26″ and 28″ x 40″. (140 pounds). Harmony watercolor paper is a surface-sized, natural-white paper suitable for all wet painting methods. The surface treatment makes this paper acid-free, light-resistant, and eraser-resistant. This paper is suitable for watercolor and wet-painting methods. There are cold-pressed, hot-pressed, and rough formulations of watercolor. This paper is fantastic to work with and allows the use of masking tape or masking fluid without leaving a residue. Furthermore, wet colors can be easily altered or corrected.


If you are looking for a watercolor paper that doesn’t bleed through, the Hahnemuhle Harmony paper is the one. The beautifully textured paper holds colors and makes the painting vibrant. The price is a little on the expensive side but the overall quality is really good.

05) Arches Watercolor Block 18 x 24-inch Natural White

100% Cotton Paper – 20 Sheets of Arches Watercolor Paper 140 lb Cold Press – Arches Art Paper for Watercolor Gouache Ink Acrylic and More

Arches Watercolor Block 18 x 24-inch Natural White main image


• Rich quality paper.

• Available in 13 different sizes.

• 3 different types of textures including cold press, rough, and hot press watercolor paper.

• Glued on both sides to ensure protection.

• From a well-reputed brand.


This paper is made entirely of cotton and is wonderful for painting on. Water and color penetrate the paper, leaving behind vibrant, lovely washes that are really simple to apply and glaze. The arches collaborate with you to produce the greatest artwork you are capable of. If you use watercolor, you MUST try this paper.

ARCHES Watercolour paper is made the traditional way, using a cylinder mould. This method ensures that the fibres are evenly distributed which makes the paper extremely stable, so it will not warp or stretch when water is applied to it. ARCHES Watercolour paper is made from long, 100% cotton fibres, allowing it to absorb a lot of water without warping or causing the colours to bleed. It is sized to the core with natural gelatin, so it can be scratched without tearing or linting. This internal sizing also prevents paint penetrating into the paper, allowing light to shine through the pigment and reflect off the paper while ensuring durability of the colours.


I have used ARCHES Watercolour paper for many years and find it to be one of the best paper for Gouache I have come across during that time. The long, 100% cotton fibres allow the paper to absorb a lot of water without warping or causing the colours to bleed. The sizing to the core with natural gelatin also prevents paint penetrating into the paper, allowing light to shine through the pigment and reflect off the paper while ensuring durability of the colours. I highly recommend ARCHES Watercolour paper for anyone looking for the best paper for Gouache.

General Information:

The best aspect about gouache paint is that it is immensely versatile. Be it textured paper, mixed media paper, or any sort of wet media. This paint sticks beautifully. However, before you go on to make your purchase it is important that you keep in mind a few things. These will make your overall purchasing process easier.

Things To Keep In Mind Before Buying the Best Papers for Gouache Paint:

Try to use the paint on a flat surface.

The paint will adhere easier to flat, fine-grained paper. Satin-surfaced papers work well for designs that demand exceptional accuracy. Effects with a rough grain can be produced using a piece of paper having a coarse texture. Use 300gsm hot press paper with this paint for best results. Paper pads of the same weight can be purchased in place of individual sheets. You may also use different sketching and printing papers if your paint isn’t too thinned off.

Non-oily materials like plywood, wood, or cardboard may be painted quickly and easily using gouache paint. When applied to handmade papers, it provides an inexhaustible supply of options. Be very careful you only use high-quality paper, whatever you decide. Feel free to play with a few little pieces.

Taking Care Of A Gouache Painting:

Make sure to properly safeguard your gouache paintings when you wish to display them. Water can reactivate the paint, thus even a single drop can damage your painting. A glass frame offers the best protection, but you can also use a spray fixative to ensure durability for your artwork.

Conclusion / Roundup

When it comes to choosing the right paper for your gouache paints, there are a few things you need to take into account as we’ve discussed. The weight and texture of the paper will affect how the paint behaves on the surface, so it’s important to find a good balance between absorbency and stiffness. You also want to make sure that the color of the paper won’t interfere with your paint colors.

I hope my guide has helped you find the best paper for your gouache painting needs today but the only real advice you need is to try things out! What works for one artist may not be what works for you so take guidance by all means but at the end of the day, you’ll know when you’ve found the right products for you…

Happy painting 😉


What GSM paper is best for gouache?

Many watercolor papers can work if you’re searching for an album for gouache paintings, but the weight of the paper is important. Gouache painting requires paper that is at least 140 lb/300 GSM. When you begin applying your gouache, you don’t want your paper to buckle. The size of high-quality gouache paper makes it resistant to stacking and cleaning.

Is watercolor paper good for gouache?

On watercolor paper, gouache works great, but you could also try any thick drawing paper. Although canvas is an option, acrylic is usually a preferable choice for that. In general, gouache paper if often your best choice for gouache paint.

Does gouache work on a normal watercolor paper pad?

The best thing about gouache paper is that it is adaptable and suitable for both paper and canvas, which is perfect if you have a predilection for one over the other. Reeves watercolor painting paper is ideal for gouache paintings since it is made to accept water media and it is sturdy enough to withstand this heavier type of paint.

Is Bristol paper good for gouache?

Yes, due to the versatility of gouache, it can work well on bristol paper as well.

What is meant by cold press texture?

A surface with a regular or light texture is what we call “cold press.” The raised ridges of the paper are less than those on hot press, so the paint doesn’t sit on top of them as much. This provides more tooth for the paint to cling to and results in a rougher textured finish.

What is meant by opaque watercolor?

Opaque watercolor is a type of watercolor paint that is more dense, so it can achieve more vibrant colors and will not allow the paper to show through. This type of paint is perfect for painting over dark colors or for creating vibrant backgrounds.

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Written By Adam Rushton

Adam has made a name for himself in the illustration industry and is a passionate blogger and writer on the subject of art, illustration and graphic design.

His artwork has been featured in countless publications and used for very well-known media projects. As a professional illustrator for over 20 years, Adams media outlets, a wealth of knowledge, and experience enable him to consult and advise artists and illustrators in this country (from York and Manchester to Southampton and London) and all over the world.