The Art Industry


Frequently Asked Questions.

Why does the colors on my monitor not look the same as those on the reproduction?

The final reproduction is impacted by several factors, including: type of ink, the printer settings and the basic colour of the paper. In general monitors and printers mix colour in different ways. The monitor uses three primary colours (Red, Green, Blue – known as RGB). A monitor produces colour by lighting up the required colours to be mixed and then mixing them. Reprographic colour printing starts with a piece of white paper instead of the black screen of a cathode ray tube. The printer uses four colours (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, black – known as CMYK) that are mixed with each other as required during the printing process to produce individual colours. Because the coverage of the colour spectrum differs between the two, a colour profile is used to eliminate the differences. With some patience and repeated proofing, it is possible to achieve similar good results with a desktop printer.

Do I have to calibrate specific settings on the printer prior to printing? When do I use a profile?

To reproduce accurate colour quality certain settings must be calibrated prior to printing. To achieve accurate colour quality over longer periods you cannot avoid using profiles as these ensure colour constancy. For individual prints profiles are not particularly necessary. For a more detailed explanation of profiling consult the handling instructions on the ICC download page.

Which grammages can conventional printers work with?

The grammage is not necessarily the deciding factor; paramount to this is the volume, i.e. the strength as well as the flexibility of the paper. On some printers the paper is fed into and out of the printer at the front, which requires the paper to be rotated 180° over a roller within a very small radius. This can mean that “normal” paper with a grammage of approx. 220 – 250 gsm cannot cope with this process. However, there are differences with paper type. Where Canvas with 340 gsm might print well, a Torchon paper with 285 gsm might not. The reason being that the Canvas is more flexible and Torchon is firmer. Experience will dictate which papers are suitable for a desktop printer. From experience we can recommend the following guide values – most papers up to a grammage of approx. 250 gsm even White Etching, White Etching Satin and Canvas can be used in desktop printers.

Why use an ICC profile?

The ICC profile ensures that you achieve consistently accurate colour reproduction on your paper over a longer production period. This profile tells the printer which colours to mix in order to achieve a specific colour or to correspond to a specific surface. Please remember: every paper has a slightly different base tone so that for every type of paper you use you should select a different profile.

What to do when paper curls?

Our FineArt inkjet papers are pure natural products, manufactured in an elaborate process from cellulose fibres and/or linters, which are then coated in a separate refinement process. Throughout the production process, we make sure that important parameters are met. For example – the paper’s ‘moisture content’. As paper tends to achieve a balance with its environment, the paper’s moisture content can change. Atmospheric condition changes, such as the dry air in heated rooms, damp air in unheated storage rooms or low temperatures can result in ‘curling’ – the curving of the paper sheets. More often than not, a slight re-bending of the corners or the use of a ‘D-Roller’ will easily solve the problem.

Does Hahnemühle recommend any specific printer?

We do not recommend any “specific” printer but, as already mentioned above, we do recommend printers with “lightfast” pigmented inks because the prints last significantly longer. Of course, all other printers are suitable for printing Hahnemühle media but it should be borne in mind that you cannot expect the same high level of light stability! In case of pigmented inks, we are talking about light stability of more than 100 years, in compliance with Wilhelm Imaging Research.

Is the paper available as a roll?

Generally speaking, yes. To find out which papers are available in which roll sizes go to menu Product/DFA and select the quality for which you require detailed information. If you have any further queries our competent staff is willing to assist you.

Why use Hahnemühle papers?

With the Hahnemühle Digital FineArt qualities you can rest assured that you will achieve the same high quality result every time. Our special inkjet print coatings have been developed over a number of years and are subject to continuous testing. The product range includes a large selection of textures, surfaces and colours with an array of sheet and roll sizes that appeal due to their unique feel, a superb surface structure and an outstanding colour gamut. The Digital FineArt papers have been developed for artists who place extremely high demands on coated artist’s papers for inkjet printers. How long do the prints last?

There are basically two criteria for ageing: the paper and the print. All Hahnemühle papers are extremely resistant to ageing in compliance with DIN 6738 and offer the highest life expectancy of several hundred years. The permanence of the print, i.e. the colour adherence is ink dependent and with UV resistant inks (pigmented inks) can last for more than 100 years.

Which is the best file format to store my work?

If you work with files produced by a scan then the most commonly used format is a TIFF file. This type of file is not as small as a JPEG file and so takes up more storage space. JPEGS are larger files that are generally used to send pictures via email or to store digital prints. They can be used alongside the GIF format for the internet. The PDF format (portable document format) is used for text and picture files and is a more universally employed format. The file endings EPS, PSD, etc denote formats that refer to the application programs where they were created. This means: TIFF for the printed image, JPEGs and GIFs for email and internet.

How do I store my paper?

When storing your paper, you should consider a number on factors and outside influences, these include light, temperature and moisture. Ideally keep your photographic paper flat and within its original packaging. The Archival Bags will help protect against moisture and dust within the air, while the box will protect it from physical damage and light. Within each box you will find detailed handling instruction on how to store your photographic paper; however, the basics are kept away from extremes of temperature, Moisture and light.

The term torchon comes from the French and is associated with a very coarse linen structure.

Papers with this designation have a distinctive undulating surface structure. Paints flow differently on these papers than on the other watercolour papers. With wet in wet most colours bleed a lot and produce prominent halos. In addition, the colour is integrated into the sizing creating brilliant pictures. Torchon papers are not suitable for beginners but are predestined for experienced painters.


As a rule of thumb:

If you want to paint in more detail and realistically then matte surfaces are recommended. For generous, painterly methods or grainy techniques rough and torchon surfaces are more suitable.

Which watercolor paper is the correct one?

Generally speaking, this is a subjective decision. Artists and amateurs should select their papers depending upon experience and motif. Here are some recommendations:


Aquarell Selection watercolour pad with 12 different Hahnemühle watercolour qualities demonstrates the diversity of the surfaces and grammages available. Ideal for finding the most suitable paper to match your personal aptitude.

Allegretto 150 gsm watercolour paper for dry techniques and techniques using less water.

“Toscana 200 gsm” watercolour board


First Experiences

Hahnemühle 200 gsm, matte and rough

 Burgund 250 gsm, matte and rough

Britannia 300 gsm, matte and rough

Cornwall 450 gsm, matte and rough

“Young Line 200 / 240 gsm”, watercolour pad

Advanced and Professionals

Hahnemühle 230 gsm, extra rough

Turner 300 gsm

“Tiepolo 450 gsm”, matte and rough

Leonardo 600 gsm, matte and rough

Torchon 275 gsm

Eager to Experiment

Pastel Velour paper

Ingres 100 gsm

Are all Hahnemühle papers acid free?

Yes! All Hahnemühle papers comply with DIN 6738ISO 9706ANSI Z 39.48-1992 and are:


  • Neutrally sized and therefore acid free
  • Possess a pH value between 7,5 and 9,5
  • Are at least 4% calcium carbonate (CaCO³) buffered against air pollution buffered
  • Wood-free
  • Made from chlorine-free (tcf/ecf) bleached pulp and/or rag fibres
  • Lightfast
  • Extremely age resistant – more than 100 years (highest life expectancy category)


Download Quality Certificate

What is Sizing?

Sizing is used during paper manufacture to reduce the paper’s ability to absorb liquid, with the goal of keeping inks and paints on the surface of the paper. This provides a more consistent and precise printing surface to work on. Traditionally Sizing was made from animal gelatine; however, at Hahnemühle we use a synthetic sizing agent, allowing our papers to remain animal free and vegan. We use two different ways to size our papers.

Surface sizing

Sizing is applied to the surface of the paper, resulting in a stronger surface structure; this means that liquids remain on the surface for longer and so colours can be easily removed. Another benefit to surface sizing is that the use an eraser and masking fluids is permitted without fear of damage to the paper surface. Surface sizing is applied in two ways, in a bath that coats both sides, or a curtain where only one side of the paper is sized.

Internal Sizing

– Sizing is applied to the pulp mixture within the cylinder, resulting in an even distribution throughout. The benefits of this include that both sides being workable and that the paper surface is more tactile and softer.

What is a giclée print?

Giclée comes from French and translated literally means “squirt”, which in this case refers to the process by which the ink is applied to the paper. The nozzles of an inkjet printer spray a pattern of very fine drops onto the paper that later form the picture. The term giclée connotes an artwork, a photograph or a digitally produced work reproduced on an inkjet printer. The image is generated onto coated, archival artist’s paper using pigmented inks (UV resistant).

What are the dimensions of the papers?

Below is a list of the dimensions of our A-size paper range.

A6   105 x 148mm
A5   148 x 210mm
A4   210 x 297mm
A3   297 x 420mm
A3+ 329mm x 483mm

How do I copyright my work when high resolution reproductions can be achieved today using scanners?

The artist’s copyright and authenticity are an increasingly significant aspect at a time when high quality scanners and cameras are available to everybody. If you are printing a limited edition of your work then we advise signing and dating each print. For additional security, we recommend using the Hahnemühle hologram system. This is a set of 2 holograms for each print edition, one for the reverse side of the print and one for the certificate of authenticity.

Each hologram set has the same alphanumeric number. To further protect the art works they can be registered on the internet.


What is the difference between a calendared, matte, rough, extra rough and torchon surface?


Smooth, calendared surfaces

Calendared paper acquires its very smooth, glossy surface by being compressed between heated rollers after leaving the paper machine. Watercolours appear that much more brilliant on this surface. Glossy surfaces are excellent for the finest detailed drawings, glazes and washes, where the paint can be removed again. These papers are however not as suitable for large-scale wet in wet work.

Matte surfaces

Matte surfaces are used for delicate paintings and are suitable for beginners because of their slightly irregular surface that impacts only slightly on brush control and paint flow. These surfaces can be recommended for all watercolour painters who like to work with fine details. Users can obtain full brush strokes in the wet in dry technique and even glowing colour gradation using the wet in wet technique.

Rough surfaces are integrated in the painting and produce bold pictures with relief effects.

The rough, irregular, grainy structure makes watercolours appear more vivid and is the most popular surface. The textured surface is created either directly during production on the cylinder mould machine or by an embossing process after production.

Rapid brush strokes on dry surfaces, lightly applied, leave unpainted areas on the surface. White “points of light” in the hollows of the surface that have not filled with paint lend the painting an attractive appearance. In the wet painting technique, the deeper areas take on more colour. This creates light/dark effects that contribute to the brilliancy of the colours. Paint can be removed from these papers right down to the original white. (Exceptions to this are papers containing rag). This surface is ideal for atmospheric paintings, for two-dimensional colour application and for extreme wet in wet techniques.

Extra rough surfaces.

This distinctive surface emphasizes the “points of light” effect. When using this surface it is best to work with the wet technique using ready mixed paints.

What is the difference between mould-made watercolor paper and Akademie watercolor paper?

The difference and hence the difference in name of both product lines stems from the different production processes and the resulting paper quality. Two types of machine are employed in the production process, the Fourdrinier machine and the cylinder mould machine. The Fourdrinier machine uses a continuous wire or screen that moves along like an endless belt. The stock or water pulp is sprayed or dropped onto the moving wire. This belt is vibrated along prompting the water to drain out through the wire leaving behind the pulp that solidifies into an endless sheet of paper. This process ensures that the fibres are deposited in one direction only, impacting on paint flow thus ensuring the predictability of the colour gradation. Up to 110 m of paper/min are produced on the Fourdrinier machine.

By contrast traditional paper production uses a cylinder mould machine where the cylinder is immersed in a vat full of pulp slurry. Water is pumped out of the cylinder whilst the cylinder rotates. The rotating motion means that the fibres are deposited haphazardly onto the circulating felt producing the sheets of paper. On genuine mould made papers the pigment flow is therefore not predictable, so these papers are reserved for more experienced artists. The slower the cylinder rotates during production, the higher the quality of the finished product. This high-quality mould made papers have 4 deckle edges. Up to 14 m paper/min are produced on the cylinder mould machine. The term “mould made paper” was originally used to describe handmade papers (from the vat). The present-day automated production resembles handmade production in the slow, careful production process. Hahnemühle is one of the few artist papers companies worldwide that continues to use this production process today.

Pads or single sheets

Pads are recommended for everyday use. The high quality Hahnemühle watercolour pads are gummed on all sides with a gauze strip that ensures optimal flatness of the paper. The finished painting is removed from the pad using a folding tool once it has completely dried and has smoothed out.

Single sheet

Single sheets, in the case of mould made paper with genuine deckle edges and watermark, offer an even higher quality painting surface as a result of their attractive appearance. Especially for wet in wet painting technique these sheets can be dampened in water for hours without being damaged. Before painting the larger sheets should be stretched over a strong supporting surface (chipboard panel) using adhesive tape or tacks.

What are the dimensions of the paper sizes?


Most papers dimensions can be found within their information; however, some papers are part of an A-range, or imperial size. Below you can find the dimensions of these papers.

A6 105 x 148mm
A5 148 x 210mm
A4 210 x 297mm
A3 297 x 420mm

Full Imperial is 30×22 inches (approximately 76x56cm)
Half Imperial is 15×22 inches (approximately 56x38cm)
Quarter Imperial is 15×11 inches (approximately 38x28cm)