Opus Resource Library
Which to choose? Winsor & Newton Watercolour Paper
Opus Resource Library

Winsor & Newton is committed to sustainability, and the range is responsibly sourced with 80% of our papers certifiably sourced (FSC) and 40% made using renewable energy. Winsor & Newton papers are also vegan, as all materials used during the process are synthetic and not animal-derived.

Introducing Winsor & Newton’s NEW Range of Watercolour Paper

Developed to maximise the performance of the art materials used, Winsor & Newton offers two ranges of watercolour paper. Winsor & Newton work with expert papermakers to test quality papers, across price points and select superior surfaces that maximise the performance of the art material used, whatever your skill level.


Discover Winsor & Newton’s full range of Fine Art Papers here.

Professional Watercolour Paper

Winsor & Newton’s ultimate 100% cotton Professional Watercolour paper is crafted in Italy by fine art paper making experts. Created on a traditional cylinder mould, it offers the highest quality surface for smooth, even washes, preserving transparency of colour. The long and fine cotton fibres used give the paper it’s beautiful feel and are internally and externally sized for optimal absorbency and extreme strength. Acid free and free of optical brighteners, this paper offers a bright natural whiteness of archival quality, that does not yellow or degrade over time. Available in different formats across a variety of weights (300g/m² – 140lb and 640g/ m² – 300lb) and textures such as cold pressed, hot pressed and rough.

Watercolour Paper

Winsor & Newton’s watercolour paper is a perfect introduction for students, beginners and hobbyists wanting to experiment, hone their skills and work with large quantities of paper, providing a surface of exceptional quality and value. Made from 25% cotton and high-quality cellulose wood pulp, this paper is free from acids, chlorine and optical brighteners, offering a bright natural whiteness of archival quality that does not yellow, degrade or alter over time. The durable paper is designed to withstand watercolour layers and reworking, while also suitable for printmakers.

Choosing a Watercolour Paper

Cotton in Watercolour Paper

Cotton is widely considered the best ingredient for the finest and best performing watercolour paper, naturally pure, absorbent and archival. The length and quality of the cotton fibres used gives the paper its beautiful feel and strength. The Professional Watercolour paper is 100% cotton while the Watercolour paper is 25% cotton.

Surface Options

The Hot Pressed paper is paper pressed at high pressure between smooth heated rollers, resulting in a smoother surface that allows the fineness of non-granulating pigments to really be enhanced. The Cold Pressed paper is always a popular choice for professionals and beginners. Cold Pressed paper is made from Rough sheets repressed cold without the felts and posses more tooth than Hot Pressed paper. Rough paper is a coarse, toothed texture. Pressed between felts at the paper mill, the paper has a distinctive rough texture surface and pigment settles into the hollows of paper and enhances granulation. The Professional Watercolour paper is available in Hot Pressed, Cold Pressed and Rough while the Watercolour paper is available in Cold Pressed.


Sizing is key when creating watercolour paper of the finest quality. The best performing watercolour papers are internally and externally sized. Sizing helps the paper keep its shape and primes it to consistently absorb the perfect amount of moisture. Multiple layers of paint can therefore be applied for more depth, the paper can withstand the roughest of editing techniques and colours remain brilliant and intense, even when dry. Internal sizing takes place while the raw materials are still in a liquid state while external surface sizing is applied to the surface of the paper once the sheet has been formed. Both the Professional Watercolour paper and the Watercolour paper are internally and externally sized.

Discover Winsor & Newton Watercolor Papers