Is a 200 GSM cotton paper good enough for watercolor and mix media?

And how to choose right weight of cotton paper?

Before you make this decision it’s crucial to understand the difference between cotton and cellulose paper. Many people that have had experience with cellulose paper would consider the 200gsm cellulose as unsuitable for their needs. The thing is, it's not only the paperweight and the thickness that differs. Most of all, it's about the quality of paper and its hardness. To put it simply, 200gsm cellulose is not the same as 200gsm cotton and you would be able to feel that difference.

Cotton paper (known as watercolor paper) is significantly harder than the cellulose version. Cellulose paper and printing paper are frequently used in typical sketchbooks that many beginner artists use.

If you have worked with 200 grams cellulose paper and it has turned out as not the best option for you, you should not cross off 200gsm cotton paper from your list. While it may have the same grammage, cotton paper is more damage resistant despite being thinner.

200gsm cotton paper is a perfect choice for daily drawing and for those of you who have experience with regular sketchbooks. 200gsm premium is also great for practicing watercolor techniques, gouache, pencils and even fountainpens.

200gsm Fabriano Artistico 300gsm Fabriano Artistico


300gsm is perfect for intense washes but it’s good to know that the thick layer of an adhesive makes the drying process longer. Pencils and crayons don’t look as flawless, and fountain pens don’t work as smoothly on 300gsm. Unlike cellulose paper, the cotton version is sized both internally and externally. It makes verry strong. 200gsm cotton paper is simply strong enough and it is still a good choice. It has more pages therefore it will last longer. It’s also great for daily sketching in which you may want to use watercolor washes or other drawing/painting tools. In this case, 200gsm cotton paper is more universal than the 300gsm variant. 

fountainpen_ink_200gsm.jpg fountainpen_ink_300gsm.jpg
Faountainpen Ink on 200gsm
Fabriano Artistico (Platinum Sepia+Pilot Falcon)
Fountainpen Ink on 300gsm
Fabriano Artistico (Platinum Sepia + Pilot Falcon)

Thinner pages in 200gsm look more aesthetic when the sketchbook is full (which makes it easier to flatten later on).

That's why we made ART series to let you enjoy this multi technique 100% cotton paper.

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3 Comments
The first time I purchased the 220gsm sketchbook from you and I saw how thin the paper was I did not think I would like it at all. By the last page it became my favorite! I'm finishing my second one and will be getting a third! It is light, for daily travel, it works just fine with washes and the pens work really well. The tooth and sizing are just right for quick urban sketches! The craftsmanship makes it a pleasure to pick up and use! Thanks for a great product!
Agnes Wnuk 2021-09-03
I got the same impression. I thought that it would be too thin, but it wasn't (I have Art series sketchbook with Fabriano Artistico 200gsm). This is very surprising strong paper. Even for multiple washes.
Mia B 2021-10-28
I love these sketchbooks. I working with 200gsm all the time. It is strong enough. Great job Koval.
David Fisher 2021-11-30

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