Art News

The New Fabriano Artistico

You may have noticed recently that Fabriano Artistico had a makeover. Not only have the item numbers and EAN/UPC codes changed, but the paper itself has been reworked with the needs of artists in mind. After more than 750 years of papermaking, Fabriano has outdone themselves again by taking the best of their range, and making it better.

For a complete cross-reference list of “New” Artistico vs “Old” Artistico, reach out to your MacPherson’s Account Manager.

Artistico paper is the embodiment of eight centuries of Fabriano Papermaking. This exclusive watercolor paper has played the leading role in a long and fascinating story of ingenuity and innovation, always standing out for its exceptional qualities.

Artistico has been found in Fabriano’s catalog since the 1800s, though the name “Artistico” dates more recently, to the 1970s. Fabriano Artistico is the culmination of 757 years of papermaking expertise.

Fabriano Artistico is available in sheets, rolls and a wide array of blocks. It is available in Traditional or Extra White and in 300gsm (140 lb.) and 640gsm (300 lb.). 

Fabriano Artistico comes in four beautiful and unique surfaces. From the best-selling Cold Press Surface to the Ultra Unique Soft Press Surface, but also Smooth Hot Press and Textural Rough surfaces.

(All of Fabriano Artistico’s features and benefits are universal across the range, be it sheets, rolls or blocks.

While Watercolor Blocks do not have the 4 deckle edges or watermark, they are glue-bound on all four sides and available in cold-press, hot-press, and rough grain surfaces)


Artistico paper is made of cotton, a raw material with a long flexible fiber making the paper resistant, versatile, and uniquely soft to the touch. The whiteness of the fibers causes the colors to appear more brilliant and the absence of lignin makes the paper itself more durable over time. The consistency of this paper through the years is guaranteed by a production process certifying the paper is acid-free and of the highest archival quality. 

  • 100% Cotton
  • Buffered
  • Acid-Free 
  • Long fibers
  • No OBA, lignin free 
  • Long Life—ISO 9706

Today, Fabriano lives up to its centuries-long tradition of excellence through boosting their superior quality and outstanding features. Here are some of the outstanding features that distinguish Artistico from other brands of paper:

NEW Improved Surface Sizing

  • The surface sizing is now made with ALL PLANT-BASED ingredients that improve color absorption, allowing for the overlaying of washes. In addition, colors can be easily removed by simply using a wet brush, so artists can add highlights to their painting to go back and modify details. This allows for color application to be more uniform. 
    • Artistico paper has always been surface and internally sized. Internal sizing keeps the colors from penetrating too deeply into the surface, thus preserving the brilliance of the pigments. The surface sizing also allows for perfect color application and well-balanced, consistent, and even absorption. The specific production process carried out by the cylinder mould machine allows for the sizing of the paper surface through immersion in a glue/gelatin bath, so that the surface sizing can penetrate into the fabric created by the cotton fibers, thus improving performance. This is exactly the same process implemented in Fabriano handmade paper making for materials such as the famous Fabriano Esportazione and Roma Papers.

NEW More Durable Surface 

  • Repeatedly applying a wet brush onto a paper’s surface might damage some paper’s surface. That is why a special treatment has been added that increases fiber cohesion, making the paper surface more resistant to the friction of the paintbrush, keeping resistance to scrubbing and scratching characteristics intact. 

NEW 4 Deckle Edges 

  • The use of the cylinder mould machine allows for a more striking appearance through the creation of deckle or rough edges. Today’s version of Fabriano Artistico paper has 4 deckle edges, making it similar to handmade paper both in appearance and quality. Two of the deckle edges are created naturally during the production process, while the other two are made off-machine by tearing the paper along the watermark line, leaving behind a rough edge.

NEW Fixed Point Watermark

  • The watermark, an emblem of both the paper mill and the town of Fabriano, was created during medieval times by local artisans. Fabriano Artistico paper is distinguished by the “cross pommy” emblem, one of the oldest Fabriano watermarks dating back to 1293: a prestigious medieval symbol that epitomizes the values and pride of eight centuries of papermaking history. The “cross pommy” is testimony to the industrious town of Fabriano, which created the Artistico paper, well-known today by contemporary watercolor artists all over the world. A perfect combination of tradition and innovation. 
    • The new watermark is positioned in a fixed position at the bottom right. Reduced from its original size, it is read on the felt side of the paper, the size that has not been in contact with the machine wire. Thus, painting on the legible side of the watermark will not be affected (When the watermark is legible, you are looking at the “front” of the paper surface).

STILL Vegan Friendly

  • Animal gelatin sizing was invented right here in Fabriano. A fundamental innovation that today has further evolved by becoming vegan friendly. All the ingredients used in production are free from all animal products, as well as the sizing, which is plant-based. 

Not Only For Watercolor

  • Artistico started as a watercolor paper, but due to its exceptional use with any wet media (acrylic, ink, tempera, etc) in addition to dry media (pencil, sanguine, charcoal, pastels, etc), it is used across all traditional media techniques. This paper also adapts perfectly to all traditional printing techniques, where depending on the technique used, it is necessary to soak in order to soften it. 

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