Arches Oil Paper

Looking for a new surface for your paintings?  Arches Oil Paper might be just what your looking for.


I’ve been working with Arches Oil Paper for the past few months and I must say I really like it. I’m mainly using it for smaller work, 12 x 16 and under. The paper itself is a 140lb (300gsm) stock that has the look and feel of their traditional watercolor paper.  The big difference with this paper is the fact that it’s been treated with who knows what to allow the direct application of oil paint onto the paper.  No more gessoing the paper prior to painting.

The first thing you’ll notice when working with this paper is how absorbent it is, I mean really absorbent.  The first layer of paint just sticks to the paper, no moving it around.  However, once the first layer is applied the paint can be moved around much like it can on linen or canvas. Something else I really appreciate is the lack of glare from the paint itself.  The paint has a very satin to matte like finish to it, much like a pastel. This is great when painting outdoors when the glare on the oils makes it difficult to see color and values accurately, at least for myself.  I’m sure this has something to do with the absobency of the paper.

One of the most common questions I get about the paper is “Do you have to frame it under glass?”  Answer:  No, they can be framed just like an oil. No need for framing these pieces under glass.   Varnish your painting just like you would an oil on linen or canvas and it can be framed without glass. The paper can also be cut to size using a razor or it can be torn to give the piece the deckled edge look.

This paper is also great for doing quick sketches as it keeps your costs down compared to the same quick sketches on linen.

The paper comes in 9 x 12 and 12 x 16 pads as well as 22 x 30 sheets and 51″ x 10 yard rolls.

Give it a try and let me know how you like working with Arches Oil Paper.

Here are a few of my paintings on Arches Oil Paper. More can be seen on my website at

Got Wool? 9 x 12

Got Wool? 9 x 12


Levitation, 11 x 18

Stand Off, 12 x 16

Stand Off, 12 x 16

Black Angus, Likely, CA, 8 x 14

Black Angus, Likely, CA, 8 x 14


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