Canal Paper is machine-made paper from Papeterie Saint-Armand (Montréal, QC) this paper at the mill on their Fourdrinier machine. They use fibres left from clothing industry offcuts, white tee-shirts, blue denim and flax straw from farmers.
Covered with a wrapper showing a view of the Lachine Canal in 1880. The pad has a stiff cardboard backing.
The color temperature of the paper may vary from batches, they are available in warm white, black and assorted neutral colors.
*Please note that the white paper is now warmer than it used to be in previous batches.
Amazing (and rare) Hot Pressed 100% rag cotton paper. Great for drawing, ink washes and watercolour.
It can take a surprising amount of water for a thin paper, though it is better to apply repeated washes, letting each one dry before you apply the next, than to fiddle too much with the wet paper.
Much better value and performance than Moleskine Aquarelle and other more expensive sketchbooks!
The paper in the Canal pads is slightly off-white, a shade lighter than Arches, about like Moleskine’s paper (but not as yellow.) It shows colours beautifully. Even watercolour granulation looks great on this paper - not as on CP or rough paper, but better than on most HP papers.
If you glue the two straight edges of the Canal pad with book binding compound or with hot glue, ( while the pad is clamped or under a heavy book stack), it is an inexpensive way to make a (usually very expensive) watercolour paper block. That way you can paint more easily, and the buckling tightens out and disappears completely as the paper dries. You can then cut the pages off entirely - or cut only the two sides so the artwork remains bound in the pad. The cover of the Canal pads then makes this a beautiful 60-page sketchbook with one nice deckled edge, and all your work remains conveniently bound.
But to paint leaving the paper in the pad (or block), it is better to slip a thin plastic sheet below the page you paint on, so the other pages don’t get wet and buckled. ( A piece of plastic document folder works great.)
This paper from Papeterie St-Armand is made in Montréal by a wonderful couple over 80 years old… Nothing compares with this quality. A real treasure !
Art Shack offers an excellent selection of high quality art supplies. I am very satisfied with my purchases and love the St-Armand Canal paper pads in all sizes. I bought a ton and I’m so happy!
Thanks Art Shack!