Paper: Mont Marte Watercolour Pads (review)

When I first started out in watercolours, I bought a bunch of cheap drawing sketchbooks (with about 160gsm paper) because I was reluctant to buy expensive paper while I was still learning. All the paintings I did on this paper turned out badly as the paper would pill and fall to bits if I used a heavy wash or tried to put more than one layer of paint down. I bought one expensive pad and I found it a lot easier to paint on this 300gsm paper, but I was still afraid of ‘wasting’ it with failed paintings. One day I was in the newsagent and I saw some Monte Marte watercolour pads. At the time I hadn’t tried any of Mont Marte’s other products, but when I examined the paper, it seemed thick and sturdy and had a nice texture. The A5 pad was also only about $5, so I bought one to try.

Mont Marte Watercolour Pad

The little silver circle in the top right corner of the cover page says the paper is made in Germany. The back of this page has a few tips for beginner artists using watercolour; though I’d already come across much of this advice before, I thought it was a nice touch and would be good for anyone picking up some watercolour paper as a complete newbie.

Though it claims the sheets are white, they are more of a pale cream colour. It also says this is a rough toothed paper, but I think it is more similar to medium-tooth or cold-pressed paper in other brands (I compared it to my Daler-Rowney and Fabriano watercolour pads). That being said, it is a nice texture, and will allow you to use watercolour techniques like dry-brushing that works on standard watercolour paper. It cockled a little bit when a lot of water was applied, but not too badly; I used a bulldog clip to pin the outer edges together and I was able to paint on a mostly flat surface.

While this isn’t as good as, say, Aquafine or Bockingford paper, it’s definitely a good starting point for a beginner or someone who is still learning and wants the freedom to practice without fear of using up expensive paper.

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4 Responses to Paper: Mont Marte Watercolour Pads (review)

  1. Rae says:

    I have Mont Marte’s 190gsm Watercolour paper pad (you get like 30 sheets~ definitely economical) buuuuuuuuut it is pretty horrible.. I know it’s only 190gsm though… but it couldn’t take watercolour pencils even before laying down water it was bad, and while i have been able to “Salvage” and maintain some pretty okay paintworks it is very hard to use… I don’t think I’d ever try another mont marte paper because of this but that’s why I’m looking at getting Moulin Du Roy, The Langton Prestige or Saunders, Fabriano Artistico or something.

    Still deciding between Canson’s Moulin Du Roy, Saunders or the Langton. Either way i got to wait on shipping :/


    • artdragon86 says:

      Yeah, I think in most cases, 190gsm or less is harder to work on, even in ‘good’ brands. I just prefer 300gsm because it doesn’t buckle as much, though my preference is to work with watercolour blocks rather than pads or individual sheets, since the gummed edges mean they can hardly buckle at all. I think Mont Marte and Eraldo di Paolo and the like papers are probably good for colour charts and experiments, but not much else.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rae says:

        You are probably not wrong.. I’m basically scared of buying cheap ever again… although maybe Bockingford or other better quality brand student stuff might be okay.. but even still I’m giving those a miss at the moment just because I don’t want to be needing to go out again just to replace the paper i bought lol.
        Some of cheap stuff is even too hard to “learn on” because it is not even giving you the freedom to do so… but colour charting, perhaps yet, mixing colours, and maybe some experiments on effects like you said. 🙂

        Gummed edges on blocks is good for what you mentioned.. I guess though, if you want a smaller piece off the block, you’re gonna needto cut it .. I always hear of people tearing them wrong (ripping the sheet lol)


  2. Sharron Arnold says:

    The 180gsm A4(Green Turtle cover) is the only paper I use in my A5 journals.It takes mixed media very well, and I usually incorporate watercolour washes which I find also very satisfactory. The texture is suitable for dry brushing, and the slightly cream colour of the paper is very pleasing to work on.
    Pen and ink work successfully without bleed through.


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