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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