Oil & Acrylic Canvas Paper Review

Oil & Acrylic Canvas Paper Review

with 2 Comments

Canvas paper is a very interesting substrate that is designed for oil and acrylic paintings, but it’s one that I hadn’t heard about until recently. As may have been obvious in my recent Instagram and Facebook posts, I’ve been experimenting for the last few months with getting back into painting with real media. I had to stop painting due to an injury I sustained in my military service, my upper body doesn’t move so well and looking down for too long, up for too long, not having my neck and shoulders supported, etc really causes a lot of pain. But I really really missed painting (oil painting in particular, I got into that after art school in New Zealand), so I’ve been working on ways to get back into painting that can work around my injury.


One of those ways is using canvas paper, rather than stretched canvases, wood panels, etc. Canvas paper is obviously much more space-saving, and the texture is really lovely. It’s already primed so you don’t need to worry about putting a layer or two of gesso or acrylic primer on the paper, which can be quite time consuming. It also comes in a variety of sizes, so you can easily try it out and not spend too much money. In this review I’ll be talking about the Winsor & Newton Oil & Acrylic Paper Pad, the Sinoart Canvas Pad, and the Canson Canva-Paper Pad.


Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a small commission (such as from Amazon). Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality, and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. I would never recommend something I wouldn’t use myself. 🙂


From left to right, Winsor & Newton*, Sinoart, and Canson



Paper specifications

Winsor & Newton

  • According to their website, the “Paper pads have a canvas textured surface, specifically designed for use with oil and acrylic colours. Specially formulated, this paper has the right absorbency for oil applications.”
  • Paper weight – 230gsm/108lb
  • Canvas texture
  • 9×12 (10 sheets)
  • $19.40 Canadian at Opus

Pears oil painting Winsor Newton

Oil paintings on acrylic base on Winsor & Newton canvas paper


  • On Opus’s website, it says “Sinoart Canvas Pads are made with medium textured, genuine cotton, artist quality canvas material that has been acrylic primed, making it ideal for use with acrylic and oil paints, or as a textured drawing surface for use with pastels, charcoal and chalk.”
  • Paper weight – 280gsm
  • Canvas texture
  • 9×12 (10 sheets)
  • $10.30 Canadian at Opus

Roses Are Red oil painting detail Sinoart canvas paper

“Roses are Red” oil painting detail on Sinoart canvas paper


  • On Canson’s site, it says “This paper has a canvas-like texture that is treated with a high performance barrier to evenly absorb oil, bonding agents, and water. It is primed and ready for oil paint, oil sticks, oil pastels, or acrylic paints without the need for priming or preparation.”
  • Paper weight – 290gsm/136lb
  • Linen canvas texture
  • 9×12 (10 sheets)
  • $14.50 Canadian at House of Color

Copper kettle acrylic painting Canson canva paper

Copper kettle acrylic painting on Canson Canva-Paper


Paper quality


  • All three papers are great
  • The linen texture of the Canson Canva-Paper is particularly striking

Artist Tape Adhesion

  • Sinoart is the best and releases the most easily
  • Canson is fine with a bit of care, you just have to go a bit more slowly than you would on the Sinoart
  • Winsor & Newton tears even if the tape is barely tacked down or it’s only been on the paper a short time

Surface Absorbency

  • Sinoart is great, I can pour medium onto it and brush it around, it doesn’t absorb. Paint and mediums stay on the surface
  • Winsor & Newton seems like it’s absorbing some of the oil and medium, such as when a few drops of medium soaked in straight away and made an “oil patch” that was visible from the back
  • Canson seems like it’s got enough of a barrier between the oils and the paper. The medium seemed to not be “glossy” on the surface after about 20 minutes or so, but it doesn’t create an “oil patch” or look like it’s visibly absorbing the oils into the paper.

Painting & Varnishing

  • Haven’t tried varnishing the Canson paper yet. The paper does dry flattened even when paint bubbles it slightly if very wet, as long as you keep it taped down while drying
  • Winsor & Newton curls when paint is on the canvas and it dries (and the curling makes it really hard to varnish). Even when dried flat, the paper seems to curl when removed from the easel backing board
  • The Sinoart doesn’t curl when dry, and it dries flat whether taped down or not. Varnishing doesn’t seem to make it curl.


Sinoart canvas paper detail

Sinoart canvas paper detail


Canson Canva-Paper canvas paper detail

Canson Canva-Paper canvas paper detail


Final thoughts

As I stated in the video, this paper can be used for other media as well, and dry media like chalk pastels, charcoal, etc would look amazing on this paper as it has so much “tooth.” This paper would not be suitable for watercolour, but would be fine for gouache, ink, etc. If you can’t find these exact brands I used in this review, that’s ok, some art supplies are more available in some places than others (and some like Sinoart might be more easily found in shops like Opus than elsewhere). It may seem like I’m bashing Winsor & Newton in this post, but I really don’t want to come across like that, as I really do LOVE their products (I own some of their watercolours, some of their Artisan brand mediums and varnishes for water-soluble oils, etc). It’s just this particular paper I couldn’t seem to make work for me, but as I said in the video maybe I’m doing something wrong. If you do want to try some other brands out, you can “replicate” what I’ve done — test both oils and acrylics if you have them, see whether mediums or oils soak into the paper, and see how easily artists tape can peel off it. And of course do you like the paper, the quality, the texture (and its size availability). If you do test other brands, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. I’ve been really enjoying playing with this variety of oil painting canvas papers the past few weeks, and I hope my experimentation helps you if you’re considering trying some out. 😊

*Photo courtesy of Winsor & Newton

Oil & Acrylic Canvas Paper Review
Article Name
Oil & Acrylic Canvas Paper Review
This review of canvas papers covers the Sinoart Canvas Pad, the Canson Canva-Paper Pad, and the Winsor Newton Oil and Acrylic Paper Pad.
Publisher Name
Peacock & Fig
Publisher Logo

2 Responses

    | Reply

    I have never tried these. Thank you fkr the very valuable infirmation! I will think about breaking out of my ready-made stretched canvasses bought at art supply sgore. I use a lot of Winson products.. I had a serious neck injury in May, and am still having issues with upper body mobility, but painting sends me to a good place every time. Thank you again, and continue on tbe road to healing!

    • Dana Batho
      | Reply

      So glad it was helpful for you Gloria! And yeah, my neck injury is basically as healed as it’s ever going to be, it was over 11 years ago I was hurt. I found using a vertical easel, like a Richeson Italian Table Easel that clamps onto a table or bench easier to use, as I can roll my bigger chair under it unlike a normal French-style easel where the legs are quite narrow together at the top. Great for standing, not so good if you need to sit to paint like I do. Hopefully you heal up better than I did. 😊

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