Wet Paint

Artists' Materials & Framing in St. Paul, MN

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The Secret to Fantastic Drawing: Use More Paper

As a kid my mom would make sure my sister and I always had plenty of paper for drawing. She was a teacher so there was always a box of extra mimeographed worksheets to scribble on the backs of and, for a while, a carton of green-striped tractor-feed paper from the school office. We went through all of it. One birthday though, I received a pad of real drawing paper from the art supply store. I decided that it would be for special drawings so I set it aside until I was certain that I’d be doing a fantastic drawing.

Visiting my folks at home last fall I found that pad in a box and it is still blank.  As a kid I wasn’t confident that I’d be creating a masterpiece piece so I stuck to scrap office paper.

Since then I’ve stopped using the backs of German 101 vocab quizzes as sketch paper because I’ve learned that you shouldn’t wait to use good paper. Using better paper makes the drawing work out better. Now I get thick spiral pads with decent, toothy paper and I immediately do something fast, messy, and scribbly on the first few pages so that theres no hesitation about picking it up and adding to it and filling it up. Decent paper and not hesitating to use it is what generates fantastic drawings.

8080960Since I’ve gotten back into the store my new favorite is the 9×12 Bee 808 pad. It’s a sincere-looking, rugged, spiral-bound with 60 thick pages and a heavy board for a back cover.  And Bee makes it in the U.S., which is cool. I like the warm white color of the paper and medium surface. Spiral pads lay flat, which I prefer. It handles fine-point pens, soft pencil, and pastel nicely. It says it’s for multi-media so I’m going to get some ink and watercolor shading going soon.  My kids are each getting one with a promise to replace every full book with a fresh one.

Now thru February 10th, 2017 all pads and journals are 20% off at Wet Paint!


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Williamsburg Handmade Oil Colors, Mediums and Grounds

darinheadThis blog post is written by Darin Rinne, longtime General Manager, and now co-owner of Wet Paint.

Wet Paint carries over a dozen different paint options for the oil painter.  Why so many?  We feel that it’s critical to have the tools needed for communicating every painter’s vision, and painters’ tastes in oil paint are as varied as their paintings!

Williamsburg oils are a Wet Paint staff and customer favorite. Williamsburg currently manufactures over one hundred seventy artist quality colors, many of which are unique to them…there’s something here for every oil painter, and likely more than a few surprises and “must haves!” Each pigment is milled in small batches to its own unique standard – ranging from very fine to coarse.  Some colors feel slightly gritty, while others are super smooth.  This approach preserves the range of textures that oil paints have historically had, and insures that the beauty and luminosity of each individual pigment is emphasized.

And they’re not just color…Williamsburg also offers an extensive line of mediums and grounds, too, encompassing everything from the traditional to the contemporary.

viridiancolorswatch viridianfreetubeThru February 10th, you can purchase Williamsburg at Wet Paint for the lowest price anywhere: 40% off!  If you’re already painting with Williamsburg, it’s a great time to stock up.  If you’re new to the line, it’s a great time to try it and see what the buzz is about!  Additionally (and this is huge): while supplies last, get a 37ml tube of Viridian at NO CHARGE when you purchase three tubes of Williamsburg at 40% off!  A fixture on most traditional palettes, Viridian is a semi-transparent, slightly milky green that tints to a soft, minty grey-green.  Mix it with Alizarin Crimson to achieve a muted chromatic black.  Williamsburg gives their Viridian a fine grind that imparts a velvety lusciousness.  With a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $37.29,  this is no incidental give away…don’t miss this opportunity!

Pictured: Scott Fares, Beth Bergman, and Darin Rinne

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Big News from Wet Paint

As Wet Paint enters its 41st year on Grand Avenue in Saint Paul owner Beth Bergman is excited to announce her retirement at the end of 2016. Long-time employees Darin Rinne and Scott Fares will become the new proprietors. After 33 years provisioning artists in the Twin Cities and across the country Beth intends to move to the other side of the counter and focus on making art herself.

Wet Paint is renowned for its excellent selection of over 35,000 high quality art supplies and papers and the knowledgeable staff that supports artists of all levels of intention. Located at the corner of Grand and Cambridge, Wet Paint has grown from a small storefront serving local students into a nationally and internationally recognized center for quality and expertise. In 2015 the store expanded to increase the framing department and add space dedicated to classes for kids and adults on everything from origami and printmaking to watercolor techniques and mat cutting.  Bergman and Wet Paint are both well known for their support of the arts, artists, and independent business, a distinction that will continue under Darin and Scott’s direction.

For questions please contact Scott Fares or Darin Rinne at 651 698 6431. Email: darin@wetpaintart.com, scott@wetpaintart.com.

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Gift Ideas from Wet Paint Staff


VIRGINIA- Artist, teacher, & Programming Manager at Wet Paint

Virginia’s Gift Picks

8 and up Manuscript Dip Pens…Harry Potter fans -check out the fancy feather dip quill! Paired with a pot of the Herbin “1670” Anniversary Ink deep brown color with light red reflections and sparkling gold effect.  Add a Nostalgie sketchbook for the perfect surface to set down your dreams, doodles, magic potions and more in ink.

Teen/young adult Speedball or AKUA Monoprinting Starter Kits paired with Strathmore blank Greeting cards and envelopes. It’s easy, and everything you need to start printmaking immediately.  Plus, there’s fast clean up and a basic YouTube tutorial.  All your Valentine’s Day, party invites, and holiday card dilemmas solved! 

Family gift 12 Months of Paper 2017 calendar paired with the Awagami Washi Packs and you have an instant monthly family or friends night activity all year (excellent instructions and video help included).  Why not add a gift card to Wet Paint? Plus, it is light to ship too.




MEG –Painter, illustrator, metalsmith, & Wet Paint Floor Manager

Meg’s Gift Picks

For the art appreciator:

This handsome desktop calendar features reproductions of vintage prints by master printmaker Serizawa Keisuke. A perfect gift for the one who appreciates beautiful objects and loves staying organized!
For the young artist: 
The Faber-Castell My World of Art activity kit comes with over 90 pieces to create and customize your own globe! It’s a perfect blend of educational and creative, and will yield results any youngster will be proud to display.
The beginning painter:
The Liquitex Basics Acrylic Tin is the perfect setup for a beginning painter.  It’s a great selection of colors at an amazing price!  Pair it with our Intro to Acrylics class happening in January to get the aspiring painter well on their way!

LIZ –Watercolorist, illustrator, teacher, & Wet Paint Salesperson

Liz’ Gift Picks
For any artist
These items together make the perfect gift for any artist. Just add water for hours of fun or studious value studies. ArtGraf is a medium you can draw and paint with!

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Only at Wet Paint: Caran d’Ache Wood Box Sets

These Caran d’Ache Wood Box sets are the crème de la crème! Choose from three different drawing media, each the pinnacle of quality and performance, each in a sumptuous wooden box: the 80 piece Luminance box contains the most lightfast, velvety-smooth colored pencils available; the 80 piece Museum box has one each of the most paint-like watercolor pencils you’ve ever seen; the 84 piece Neocolor II set collects everyone’s favorite watersoluble crayons, all in one big box.  Just get a big bow or two and put ‘em right under the tree!


This holiday season we are featuring some of the unique, creative supplies that are regionally, or nationally, exclusive to Wet Paint. These items are great gift ideas that you will not find anywhere else.


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Only at Wet Paint: New Wave Palette/Michael Harding Oil Paint Combo

00128New! Experience an artist’s oil paint and palette set of the highest caliber with the New Wave Palette/Michael Harding Oil Paint Combo! The 12×16” POSH hard white maple wood tabletop palette is finished with a proprietary, nonabsorbent grey satin finish…it’s warp resistant, easy to clean & super durable. Michael Harding Artists Oil Colours are handmade in the UK using techniques that date back to the Old Masters…creamy, smooth & highly pigmented. Each combo contains the palette and a set of six 40ml tubes of paint; choose either the “Introductory” or the “Modern Master” color selection.  A deluxe gift for the accomplished (or soon to be accomplished) oil painter on your list.

This holiday season we are featuring some of the unique, creative supplies that are regionally, or nationally, exclusive to Wet Paint. These items are great gift ideas that you will not find anywhere else.


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Only at Wet Paint: Bee/Pentalic Pad Super Pack

2095816Two sizes of two of our most favorite drawing pads in one remarkable package! Long described as the “only sketchbook you’ll ever need,” the Bee Super Deluxe features heavy, archival, natural white drawing paper that’s great for most any media. Pentalic’s Nature Sketch has even heavier (130 lb!), creamier, 25% cotton sheets.  The paper in both pads has a toothier, textured side and a smoother side. Both also feature heavy paper laminate covers and chipboard backs. All four pads are packaged in a zippered mesh tote…perfect for gift giving!  Need a sketchbook yourself?  Give three as a gift and keep one for you!

This holiday season we are featuring some of the unique, creative supplies that are regionally, or nationally, exclusive to Wet Paint. These items are great gift ideas that you will not find anywhere else.



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Only at Wet Paint: Bigso Pencil Boxes and Notebooks

This holiday season we are featuring some of the unique, creative supplies that are regionally, or nationally, exclusive to Wet Paint. These items are great gift ideas that you will not find anywhere else.

Brand new to Wet Paint, the hearty fibreboard Bigso Astrid pencil boxes feature hinged lids that close firmly with a satisfying magnetic click. Available in three beautiful colors (that look great together!), these simple, classic pencil boxes make the perfect stocking stuffers…when they’re filled with your lovingly chosen art supplies, of course.

Also from Bigso are the A5 Color Way Notebooks. These two packs of 40 blank page, stitch-bound, A5 size notebooks with cover colors chosen specifically for our Minnesota winters: Grey, Light Grey, and Icy Turquoise!


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Only at Wet Paint: Fabriano Ingres & Cretacolor Drawing Materials Set

This holiday season we are featuring some of the unique, creative supplies that are regionally, or nationally, exclusive to Wet Paint. These items are great gift ideas that you will not find anywhere else.

Once upon a time there was a beautiful drawing paper named after a famous French artist. This laid-grain paper was almost handmade and available in beautiful colors, including black. Unfortunately, the cruel wind of modern times dictated that the black paper could not be made anymore, and the paper quietly retired.  The Holidays are indeed full of happy and sad tales.

And then…joyous news: our importer found an old stock of Ingres Black mould-made paper at the Fabriano mill in Italy, and thought it would be fantastic to offer it during the Holidays.  We at Wet Paint thought it would be even more fantastic to create an exclusive, custom combination pairing the Ingres Black pad with a pack of three toned Cretacolor Sketching Pencils that would be perfect for classically inspired marks on a dark surface. This is not your usual sketching set, and quantities are extremely limited.

So as not to leave out fans of traditional black-marks-on-white-paper sketching, Wet Paint also developed another custom combination pairing a White Ingres pad with Cretacolor’s new Nero “Deep Black” Pocket Tin which contains our favorite dense, oil-based pencils & sticks.  Floor manager, Greg Graham (pictured above), had this to say about the Cretacolor Nero pencils: “Draws like graphite without the silvery sheen: has a smoky black finish like charcoal without the smudgy-ness.  Results in rich, velvety blacks.”  I’ll have what he’s having!


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Only at Wet Paint:Schmincke Horadam Custom Watercolor Set

This holiday season we are featuring some of the unique, creative supplies that are regionally, or nationally, exclusive to Wet Paint. These items are great gift ideas that you will not find anywhere else.

We’ve talked about the Custom Schmincke Horadam Watercolor Set a lot since we got them in last year, but if this is your first time hearing about it, (or 7th) you know that we LOVE Schmincke and this set is an excellent intro to the Horadam Watercolor line. Extremely moist watercolors in a classic metal tin. This custom palette features a selection of six split (warm & cool) primaries, and six secondary & mixing colors. Our most popular item at Wet Paint is indispensable for the painter, sketcher, designer or architect.

Already have the set? Wet Paint staffer, Liz, will be doing a Color Chart Class with this set that would be a great add-on gift for anyone wanting to see what this set can do! Click here for more info!