Canson XL Series 140 lb. White Watercolor Pad

Last updated date: October 11, 2021

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Canson XL Series 140 lb. White Watercolor Pad

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We looked at the top Watercolor Pads and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Watercolor Pad you should buy.

Update as September 3, 2021:
Checkout The Best Watercolor Pad for a detailed review of all the top watercolor pads.

Overall Take

Sustainability sets this watercolor pad from others in its market. Made using sustainable processes, this option helps those trying to reduce their carbon footprint. The pages are both acid-free and cold press, which also provides an extra level of durability.

In our analysis of 32 expert reviews, the Canson XL Series 140 lb. White Watercolor Pad placed 3rd when we looked at the top 13 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

Canson XL 9x12 Watercolor Pads feature a cold press, textured paper that works beautifully for a variety of techniques. Recommended for use with watercolor, acrylic, pen & ink, marker, colored pencil, pencil, charcoal, and pastel. The durable surface withstands repeated washes.These pads contain 30 sheets of 140 lb /300 gram acid free paper.

Expert Reviews

Expert Summarized Score

7 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

1,109 user reviews

What experts liked

Durable surface withstands repeated washes.
- Gist Gear
August 24, 2019 | Full review
Manufactured using sustainable processes.
- Goriosi
December 22, 2018 | Full review
This is a fantastic option that you can find at most major stores, and their paper pads come in several sizes.
- Little Coffee Fox
May 31, 2019 | Full review
Made from acid-free paper through a cold press process. This book is durable and can withstand a lot of drawing
- Architect's Resources
These XL Watercolor Pads are also fold over and so convenient to use. As a cold press paper that features a light and easy texture, you are sure to get a load of fun using this even if you are an absolute beginner. It is also durable enough to withstand the rigors of repeated washings. It helps that these pads are heavyweight – 140lb/300gsm. Each pack contains 30 sheets of acid-free 9-inch by 12-inch paper.
- Sea Salt and Pepper
Beginner artists may find this pad to be akin to their liking since they’re just starting out. It’s cold press paper so the surface is rough with texture. Little grooves, nooks, and crannies abound in this type of paper. That’s important when using watercolors because it soaks up the wetness and holds the pigment in place. It can also handle oil pastels, acrylic paint, and markers.
- ProCartoon
October 19, 2017 | Full review
Heavyweight paper means no pilling. Acid-free sheets. Can draw over watercolor painting
- Doodlums

What experts didn't like

This book only comes with 30 sheets of paper to use.
- Architect's Resources
May need slight stretching to remove wrinkles.
- ProCartoon
October 19, 2017 | Full review
Pigment colors may be slightly duller than hot press paper.
- Doodlums

An Overview On Watercolor Pads

If you’re an artist, you know the importance of the materials you use. High-quality paints are essential for creations that jump right off the page. But the surface you’re painting on comes into play, too. For artists using watercolor pads, the paper inside those pads can either help or hinder your journey toward creating your next masterpiece.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Unfortunately, higher-quality paper can be on the pricey side. That can make it tempting to save a few bucks by buying one watercolor pad over another. But it’s important to make sure the paper will properly absorb your colors. Otherwise, you’ll be disappointed in your results.

If you use pencils, you’ll also want to make sure you choose a paper that can stand up to your eraser. Look for papers made from long fibers that will erase cleanly. Acid-free, cold-press paper can handle multiple washings. Thicker, high-quality paper will also better soak up the pigments in your paint.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

As you’re pricing around, keep in mind not only quality but quantity. It can be easy to be drawn in by a lower-priced pad, only to realize later that it only comes with a small number of sheets. A much thicker pad will last longer, saving you the inconvenience of having to go back to the art store.

Perforated pages can also come in handy when you’ve finished your piece of art. If you want to extract it from the notebook to display or give away, pages that rip out won’t have that smooth edge. A perforation will give you a handy page that you can show off as the piece of art it is.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

For some artists, sustainability is also an important factor. Some watercolor pads are built with the environment in mind, so you can definitely narrow your list by looking for that feature. You can also find watercolor pads that are made in the U.S., if that’s a priority for you.

The Watercolor Pad Buying Guide

  • When it comes to paper, it’s the little things that make a difference. The Arches 140 lb. Watercolor Paper Pad uses long fibers in its page construction, which means it holds up well while working. If you’re also using your pad for pencil drawings, you won’t have to worry about wearing down the paper fibers when you erase.
  • The paper of the Canson XL Series 140 lb. Watercolor Pad is acid-free and cold press, which ensures it will last through even repeated washings. It’s also heavyweight, 140-pound paper with plenty of texture to help it soak up the pigments in your paint.
  • Art professors helped develop the Canson XL Series 98 lb. Mix Media Paper Pad, designing it specifically for the needs of art students. The perforated, true-size sheets are perfect for neatly removing the pad to display. It holds up well whether you’re using pencil, charcoal or watercolor. It isn’t quite as absorbent as competitors, though, which means you’ll have to allow your drawings a little more time to dry.
  • The pages of the Arches 140 lb. Watercolor Paper Pad are soaked in pure natural gelatin, then air-dried. That process enhances your paint, giving it a luster. It also helps keep tearing and lint to a minimum.
  • When you’re comparing prices, keep in mind the number of pages you get for that cost. The Canson XL Series 98 lb. Mix Media Paper Pad gives you the most, with 60 sheets of 7 X 10-inch paper. The Canson XL Series 140 lb. Watercolor Pad comes with 30 sheets, while the Arches 140 lb. Watercolor Paper Pad provides only 12 sheets each.
  • If the environment is important to you, it may help to know the Canson XL Series 140 lb. Watercolor Pad is made using sustainable processes.