The Papeterie de Lana, located in Docelles, France (near Arches) began papermaking in 1590 and has been in continuous operation ever since. It was recently acquired by the French paper manufacturing group Aussedat Rey, which is in turn owned by International Paper (whose subsidiaries in the USA include the brand names Strathmore, HammerMill, and Beckett).

Lanaquarelle papers are mouldmade, 100% cotton, acid free, internally and surface sized, with 2 natural deckles, with a curving "lanaquarelle France" chop embossed in one corner. The rattle is moderately loud and bright; the papers burn to a brittle, light gray ash. The surfaces sluff easily under repeated washes or sponging, making this paper unsuitable for styles that require scumbling or lifting. Color is a lovely warm ivory, midway between the whitest and darkest sheets tested. — Available in white single sheets, rolls or blocks, in the standard three finishes (R, CP and HP), in three weights (185, 300 and 640 GSM). Price of a single 300 GSM imperial (22" x 30") sheet is about $3.00.

The Rough finish is comparable to the CP finish in some other brands (Arches, Winsor & Newton). It has a small, stubbly tooth that is very evenly spaced across the sheet; the wire side is slightly smoother. Deckles are very small and even. The color is a middle white, neither warm nor cool. The sizing is moderately heavy: the sheet took an even wash without exhausting the brush. There was no ultramarine flocculation or blossoming in the magenta area, but there was noticeable cobalt banding. Resists came off cleanly with no damage; but scrubbing sluffed off large quantities of paper, scarred the surface, and left very unsightly streaking under a wash. The green lifted completely but left scarring visible under the repainted area. — The Cold Pressed finish has even less character than the R, again with a very consistent and rounded tooth, perfect for detail work. The wire side is smoother than the Fabriano Uno SP, approaching a HP texture. Deckles are again small and even. The color is a middle white, neither warm nor cool. The paper responded to scrubbing, resists and lifting with less damage than the R sheet; the washes were more even and without flocculation, but still with noticeable cobalt banding. — The Hot Pressed finish has very smooth surface with a gentle striated pattern in the eggshell texture; again the deckles are small and even. The color is medium white. The sizing is excellent; the sheet takes a wash with very little banding, pigment texture or splotching (in comparison to other HP sheets), the magenta blossoming was rather subdued. Scrubbing or lifting still visibly scarred the paper and showed through repainted areas, but less so than in the other Lana finishes.

I should mention that I've had bad experiences with the Lanaquarelle watercolor blocks. I've often found that several sheets in a block are not acceptably sized: a random splatter of excess external sizing (or some other contaminant that repels water) appears on the paper surface. When a wash is laid over these areas, the water rolls off without penetrating the paper, leaving an ugly white blotch.

If gently scrubbed or sponged, left to dry, then brushed lightly to remove sluffed paper and loose fibers, the sheets seem to tolerate some reworking, as repainted areas did not wick at the edges. But the streaks and discolorations from lifting can be very noticeable under washes, so this paper cannot be recommended for assertive lifting techniques.

Please see the page how to test watercolor papers for an explanation of my paper evaluation methods.

(300gsm R, CP, HP)