Wet Paint

Artists' Materials & Framing in St. Paul, MN


Leave a comment

Portable, Practical, and Always Unique: The 2018 Wet Paint Schmincke set is on its way!

Just in time for World Watercolor Month in July, and the travel & outdoor activities that come with the warmer summer months, we’re pleased to announce the imminent arrival of our 2018 custom Schmincke Horadam ½ pan watercolor set.  As with previous sets, the 2018 version features 12 moist, professional-grade colors in a Schmincke tin, plus room for adding more…but that’s where the similarities end!

Our new set is an exciting partnership with Jennifer McLean, watercolor & mixed media artist, and blogger at justaddwatersilly.com and doodlewash.com.  Jenn got her first Horadam ½ pan set from Wet Paint in 2013 and has been a fan ever since: “Schmincke has some wonderfully unique watercolors that I cannot get anywhere else and since this palette is such a fantastic deal, I’ve always supported Wet Paint every time there was a new palette out. To think you get a quality tin and twelve half pans which should cost over two hundred dollars.” As a great supporter of Wet Paint and our custom palette Horadam sets, asking Jenn to choose the colors for our 2018 tin was a no-brainer.  Her choices – radiant, transparent warm & cool primaries, plus two favorite semi-opaque colors – make this selection the brightest, cleanest mixing palette we’ve offered.  Check out the color chart below, then go to her blog to read Jenn’s account of her color picking process.  When you visit her blog, you will also find Jenn’s recommendations for additional colors to supplement your new set, as well as information about entering an exclusive giveaway!

2018 Schmincke Palette HiRes

Another major difference between the 2018 set and prior incarnations is the tin.  We’ve skipped the 18 ½ pan square format tin this time and instead packed Jenn’s 12 colors in a long, narrow tin that accommodates 24 ½ pans and a full size brush.  Best of all, this tin has a brilliant, full color watercolor graphic on its cover (and the Schmincke owl logo, of course!).  Beautiful!Schmincke Half Pan - Colored Tin

If you’re new to Schmincke’s Horadam ½ pan watercolors, you need to know that all 139 colors are filled a quarter at a time to insure the greatest consistency & immediacy available in a “dry” watercolor.  Also unique, the formulation for Schmincke’s tube color is exactly the same as that for their pan color, making it easy to go between tubes in the studio and pans en plein air.

We have confirmed shipment from Germany, and expect our sets to arrive in Saint Paul in late June. If you want to be among the first to get the 2018 set, we are now taking pre-orders. We will not be making changes or substitutions to the colors in the new set.  We anticipate a heavy influx of orders for this set – they will be processed in the sequence they are received. Order fulfillment may be longer than usual due to volume, once they arrive.

Schmincke Semiprecious Stones Watercolor Set

The other exciting news from Schmincke-land is our Semi-Precious Stone 3 Tube set.  This special edition set of 5ml watercolors features historical earth tones that are well suited for outdoor and nature painting (and are a fun addition to a springtime sketching session). Lapis Lazuli, Red Opalite, and Green Porphyry stones have been specially milled to create semi-opaque pigments. These granulating colors have subtle tints and are incredibly lightfast. While not strong mixers, we have found that combining them in a wash with a tiny bit of modern pigment such as Pyrrole Red or Hansa Yellow has produced some great two-toned effects where the larger particles add great texture, even on smoother finish papers. As with any particularly heavy pigment, these stone-derived colors may settle in the tube somewhat. If this occurs, we recommend mixing the pigment back into the binder (stirring in the tube with a long pin or needle tool) before use. These are a limited edition only available in 5ml tubes and will not be added to the standard Schmincke color selection.

If you want to create tactile and visually unique pieces in miniature, then new-at-Wet Paint Hahnemühle watercolor postcards are the perfect choice!  The round-edged, cold pressed postcards, with the address field printed on the back, are perfect for on-the-go creative souls, from watercolor and plein air painters to urban sketch artists. The 30 cards have a weight of 230 gsm and can be safely transported in the stylish metal box, to be painted and then posted wherever you are. Holiday greetings, a travel portfolio, a picture story…there’s no limit to the possibilities. The softly textured paper allows for easy use of brushes and every kind of pencil or pen, while the card’s natural tone allows the colors to glow.
Hahnemühle’s Watercolour Book is the ideal companion for urban sketchers or artists on the go. The natural white, alpha cellulose 200gsm acid free paper features a fine grained surface structure on both sides, making it ideal for creating full width panoramic paintings.  With 60 pages / 30 sheets, the Watercolour Book is compact while offering an ample number of pages for painting your memories on. Watercolour Books feature a handsome, durable cover and a rubber band to hold the cover together to protect your artwork. Available in the landscape formats A6, A5 and A4 and portrait format A6 and A5…click here for more info!

FM Brush’s Faux Kolinsky and Faux Squirrel – two of our most popular watercolor brushes – are on a great promotion this summer: buy any three (of any combination) Faux Kolinsky or Faux Squirrel brushes at 25% off and get a ½” Faux Squirrel “Whale Tail” brush FREE!  FM Brush Company has developed a proprietary blend of Techno-Synthetics that recreate all the attributes of natural hair brushes, but as a socially responsible alternative to animal hair. The Faux Kolinsky series mimics the elusive natural tip of a Kolinsky brush. It’s generous reservoir yields unmatched performance. The brushes are elegant with a cupro-nickel ferrule and long satin black albata handle. Faux Squirrel brushes are made of synthetic fibers that hold as much paint as a natural squirrel brush, allowing for a generous, even flow of paint…while retaining their shape and durability better than their natural-filament counterparts. Faux Squirrel’s seamless crimped nickel-plated ferrules and innovative soft coated handle allow for a sure grip through hours of painting. Made by FM Brush and completely assembled in America.

Da Vinci Brush’s Casaneo Series brushes are coming soon to Wet Paint.  We’ll be stocking these thirsty, synthetic squirrel brushes in a classic quill and a travel brush.  All the precision of your favorite synthetic, with the release of color usually associated with a natural hair.

It’s watercolor season!  Ready or not, Wet Paint has got you covered!


Leave a comment

Fresh classes to fit your summer

virginiacircleThis blog post is from Virginia, our Classes and Events Manager at Wet Paint:

Summer is here.

Down pace your life to something more relaxed and curious. Summer classes at Wet Paint offer you ways to refresh your creative spirit, support for your continuing creative pursuits or perhaps explore new materials or techniques for the first time.

Here’s a look at what’s in store:

You’ll find many more single session classes along with a handful of shorter multi session classes ranging from lettering and book + paper arts, to printmaking, painting and drawing and some unique specialty classes.

There are some new instructors and classes to point out:

When the Work Doesn’t Flow taught by Ellie Kingsbury addresses those dry spells artists inevitably experience and how to work with them; Intro to Micrography taught by Kyna Levi  (also offered for young artists); Intro to Screen Printing taught by Tim Cronin and Jeff Hnilicka. They are also teaching a Summer Printmaking Sampler for ages 10-15Floral Abstractions: Onsite Sketching to Finished Painting taught by Paige Tighe; Intro to Calligraphy classes for young artists and families taught by Mary McKee; plus 2 classes in the works: Wet Paint Watercolor Paper Sampler Exploration class and How to Paint Dew Drops in Watercolor taught by Illinois Watercolorist Jane Mason of Watching Paint Dry.

Many returning instructors are offering new classes such as Custom Playing Cards and Tarot Cards taught by Jeff Nelson who has three offerings in August; A whole series of new Artists Way classes taught by Tara Tieso including Abstract Urban Sketchbook, a Mixed Media Triptych and Artists Way Mini Retreat; Painterly Drawing: Water soluble Colored Pencils taught by Monica Fogg; Os Style Rosemaling taught by Julie Anderson (pictured); Watercolor + Pastel Workshop and Watercolor/Gouache/mixed Media Plein Air Workshop taught by Carl Oltvedt; Drawing Pet Portraits in Pastel Pencil taught by Susan Beck, A whole slew of classes taught by Liz Carlson including Mail Art-A-Go-Go and Cut + Paste Illustration; plus two new offerings from Bridget O’Malley Handbound Book: Japanese Side Stab Binding, and Holding it All Together : Longstitch Binding with Cave Paper.

In addition to classes you’ll find free events and demos:

Monthly Sunday Sketch-In’s, Andy Evansen Watercolor Demo in July, Bullet Journal Meet-Up in August, and our Annual Summer Postcard Project all summer long!  Keep an eye out for more events and classes in the works on our Facebook page, website or in-store posters.

…and finally, there are numerous ways to join us for fun art activities in the community this summer:

Grand Old Day Master Artwork Selfie Station, Pinners Conference and Expo in Minneapolis, Monthly Artist Talks at Lyngblomsten, Lyngblomsten Mid-Summer Festival, American Swedish Institute’s Great Makers Exchange, Pet Portraits during Paws on Grand.

With 50+ classes and events, it’s going to be a lot of fun in the classroom and we hope to see you there!


Leave a comment

Wet Paint’s 5th Annual Summer Postcard Project

Going somewhere fun this summer? Or, having a productive stay-cation? Draw, paint, or mix up your media on a postcard-sized paper and mail it to Wet Paint! We’re putting together an exhibition of mail art from our friends and fans wherever they may be. As postcards arrive, we will photograph them to share on our social media pages and then display them in our storefront windows. At the end of the summer, we’ll host a public art opening here at Wet Paint for all of the contributing artists!

postcardimage15There’s no limit to how many postcards you can send, but in order to participate, postcards have to arrive at Wet Paint via our friendly postal carrier – – no dropping them off at the store! Don’t forget to sign your postcard(s) and let us know how to reach you. We want to make sure we’re crediting you when we post the work online and we want to be able to contact you with details about the end of summer art opening on August 17th, 2018.

General Guidelines:
-We are a family-friendly shop, so please tailor your images & words to be suitable for viewers of all ages.
-We reserve the right to not display postcards that we feel are inappropriate for this activity.
-All artwork must be original.
-In order to have your postcard displayed in our end of summer exhibition, you’ll need to have it postmarked by August 13th, 2018.
-All participating mail art must arrive at Wet Paint via US Mail.
-Keep in mind that postcards will “wear” a bit depending on how far they travel- which is part of the fun of mail art!
-Contact your local post office for shipping and postage information.
-Send one or send one every week! We’ve got big windows!

Wet Paint Address:

Wet Paint
Summer Postcard Project
1684 Grand Ave
St. Paul, MN 55105


Leave a comment

Knew Black is the new black

There’s a brand new color in town and we think you are going to love it!

Knew Black was designed by our friend, St. Paul artist Ta-coumba Aiken. His formula for a chromatic black has been adapted by Gamblin Artist Colors and manufactured from a unique mixture of Dioxazine Violet and Ivory Black for this limited edition. Knew Black is an oil color with a subtle cool undertone that works great in mixtures and when tinted with white.

 

 

Visit our store or click here to see some samples of beautiful colors that have been created using Knew Black.

Wet Paint of St. Paul, MN and Pygmalion’s Art Supplies of Bloomington, IN are partnering for the first time to launch this new color into the artistic world of 2018.

Best of all, you can try this cool, new limited edition color and support your local arts community at the same time: All proceeds from Wet Paint’s sales of Knew Black will be donated to The Show Gallery in Lowertown St. Paul. The Show Gallery Lowertown is a nonprofit art space which seeks to create accessibility in the arts and unite artists of all abilities.

37ml tubes of Knew Black are only $8.95 and supplies are very limited…get yours before they’re gone!

tacoumbaknewJoin us in our store on Friday, February 23rd at 6:30 pm to celebrate Knew Black’s debut! Ta-coumba will talk about why this color is unique, what inspired his choice and the name, and how Knew Black will be useful for painters. We’ll have solvent free oil paint stations set up, so you can try it out yourself.

Like the Knew Black Logo? While supplies last you can get a tube of Knew Black and a limited edition logo t-shirt for just $19.99.  Order today, or pick up your tube/t-shirt combo at the event on the 23rd.


Leave a comment

Top 17 Art Supplies of 2017

As chosen by the Wet Paint Staff! In no particular order, here are 17 picks of our favorites new to the store -or new to us- this year.

kateKate: Leuchtturm 1917 Journals and Sketchbooks“These have great paper for pens, and I love the aesthetic look of the limited edition covers”

Anna: Tombow Dual Brush Markers– “These markers are really fun and easy to work with in my sketchbook, they have become my go-to drawing tools this year.”

Justin: Stillman & Birn Nova Series Softcover Grey Sketchbooks– “I have really enjoyed drawing on this toned paper- it is a totally different drawing experience! The grey paper really shows off the highlights and the heavy paper weight works well with many types of media.”

jordenJorden: R&F Pigment Sticks– “I have been having so much fun with these this year since they set me free from having a brush!”

Greg: Faux Kolinsky by FM Brush–  “I have been doing a lot of gouache painting lately and these have become my favorite brush to use. Real sable brushes are too soft for gouache, so these have just the right amount of resistance in the paint.”

chris2Chris: Talens Ecoline Liquid Watercolor – “Available in brush pens and bottles of ink, these products work really well together- dip a marker in an ink and you can get some amazing ombre fades!”

Amanda: GOLDEN Acrylic Gel Mediums– “Sculpt with them, add them to your paint to build texture, or just save some money by extending your color.”

paulPaul: QoR Watercolor Paint– “I hadn’t really given this line a lot of thought since it came in a few years ago, but my opinion has changed this past year. The granulation and color is great…these paints are now a part of my regular palette.”

Tzvi: Speedball Professional Relief Ink in Supergraphic Black– “This ink cleans up like water-based inks, but has the smooth consistency of an oil-based ink, which makes it easy to use as a beginner, but it is artist quality.”

paigePaige: Fabriano Artistico 300lb Cold Press Watercolor Paper– “I am LOVING this paper! It is great to slop on water while I am painting and not worry about curling or buckling- and the price is great, too!”

Emily: OHTO Horizon Needlepoint Pens– “I’ve been really into the OHTO Horizon Needlepoint Pen lately. I’m typically more of a pencil user but I took the Horizon on a trip abroad and it served, and continues to serve, me so well. The aluminum hexagonal barrel not only keeps the pen from rolling but also provides a comfortable grip and greater precision. The needlepoint offers a very fine line and retracts with a satisfying push button on the side of the barrel. They also look pretty classy and come in a variety of colors– I’ve been sporting the yellow at work and the white at home.”

Mariah: Angelus Leather Paint– “I love these vibrant colors on leather! They worked great for my leather earrings!”

rebeccaRebecca: Stonehenge Aqua Watercolor Paper in Hot Press– “This paper is really great for making work that you then scan for reproduction. The silky smooth surface also gives you extra float time for easy lifting and longer working.”

Kristina: Palomino Blackwing Volume 73 Pencil– “I have been a fan of the Blackwing pencils since we got them, but this one has been my favorite: I love the grip of the topography lines, the blue color of the barrel, the soft dark graphite, and the environmental subject of Volume 73.”

Virginia: Princeton Neptune 1″ Mottler Watercolor Brush– “I was very surprised at how much I love this brush- I bought it for Monica Fogg’s Tonal Transformations class and I use it all the time with my watercolors, ArtGraf, and charcoal! It is so expressive, it feels like an extension of my hand!

scottScott: Art Advantage Art Box Easel– “We use this in our kitchen for the ipad when we need a recipe or sketching when we are creating art, but it is easy to move and pack up when we don’t.”

Darin: What Is Painting? “Yes, what is it?  Julian Bell’s book approaches the question from the angles of philosophy, social science, and art history and comes up with a readable, inspiring analysis.  This lavishly illustrated hardcover just arrived at Wet Paint.  Not to be confused with the also fantastic and highly recommended What Painting Is by James Elkins.”


Leave a comment

Ara’s Top Picks for Kid’s Art Supplies

s40aaa

Guest blogger, Ara, with her 3 children

Hello!
I am writing to share my top picks for art inspired gift giving for kids. I am a local artist, author and illustrator- but more importantly, I am a mother of 3 children- ages 9, 7, and 5. I have a background in early childhood education, and many, many years of teaching, creating and making joyful messes with children. I am frequently asked what I would suggest purchasing for kids to encourage creation and inspire creativity. One of my biggest pieces of advice is to get children REAL art supplies. Yes, they are a bit more money, but I have seen firsthand the difference in quality of art and love of making when children are given higher quality art supplies. Skip the big box sets of “100 ITEMS!” – most of which are lost, broken, dried out and faded within hours of opening. Instead, opt in for a few simple, but vibrant supplies, that are sure to make satisfying and stunning pieces of art. I am fiercely devoted to shopping at Wet Paint for materials, because the selection, vibe, and staff are beyond excellent.

1. A Utility sketch book
These guys are nice, heavy paper for any kind of drawing, bound like a book, and a full 288 pages! We keep a couple in the car for drawing when “bored”, my kids travel with them, and have one next to their bed for late night drawing. I love that they’re bound, because it allows a collection of art (288 pages!) to be saved easily.

2. Playcolor
These bright solid paint sticks are my most recommended to parents who are looking to get something new and interesting. They are capped like a marker, but smooth like a paint. They are deeply satisfying to draw with, almost like a lipstick. They dry fast, are not very messy, and come in varieties like metallic and textile. I think kids as young 3 and as old as me would enjoy these!

3Yarka Watercolor Palette
Yarka’s palettes are semi-moist, vibrant watercolors. These are SOOOO much better than those dried out, barely there color, other brand watercolor paint palettes we all used in school. Creamier and brighter, kids love painting with these. I especially love watercolors with kids if the paper is wet from a spray bottle or big brush. Watching the colors swirl and mix is so much fun process, and if you use a decent watercolor paper, the images can be saved for gift wrapping, card making, and other fun crafts.

4Niji Watercolor
A step up, for my kids, is a tube or liquid watercolor. The Niji brand is affordable, and kids love to squeeze a bit of paint onto a palette and mix it up with water. It’s also great for learning how to color mix and creating unique shades. Wet Paint also carries two other already mixed liquid watercolors, which are also fantastic.

5. Watercolor Paper
I like the Strathmore vision watercolor pad. It isn’t top shelf paper, but it is a million times better than flimsy kid craft paper. You get 30 sheets for $10, and end up with frame-able kid art and great watercolor abstracts for various paper projects.

6Faber-Castell Beeswax Crayons
One of my personal favorite art supplies, I use these crayons for almost all of my base sketches, and my children use them whenever they color. I think they are brighter and smoother than a typical crayon, and they are amazing with watercolors or inks as a resist. Plus, beeswax is a natural and renewable resource, unlike petroleum-based paraffin of other crayons.

7Ampersand Art Panels
I have used art panels in many of the classes I’ve taught to young artists. I always ask them, “how do you like painting on the panels?” And everytime they all say IT IS SO MUCH FUN. The Ampersand art panels come in many finishes, and I love them all. My favorites are basswood and claybord, but you really can’t go wrong with any of them. They are smooth, sturdy, and hold endless amount of material (so they’ll never get soggy like paper, no matter how much paint your kids pile on). Kids feel VERY proud of art made on these panels, because they are instantly ready to gallery hang, which makes any artist feel legit.

8. Claytoon
Pretty clay in fun packs of four colors, and it never dries out. Unlike other clays, it isn’t crumbly, and so less messy and easier to clean up. Soft and smooth clay is easier to create detail work, and to sculpt into the perfect figure. I suggest getting a lidded plastic pan/tray, that the clay can be kept in. Then it is easier to tidy up, and keeps it all in one spot. Bonus- add a couple IWAKO Japanese mini animal erasers to your clay tray. My kids love to sculpt tiny furniture and gardens and lands in the tray for the eraser guys to live in. Tiny clay bunkbed with a tiny eraser bunny = CUTE.

9. Marabu Art Crayons
Somewhere between Playcolor and watercolors, is the new Marabu Art Crayons. Silky and satisfying like Playcolor, they are a joy to draw with. But add in a paint brush and cup of water, and they turn to pretty washes and blends. These come in sets, or a la carte, for the perfect set of favorite colors.

10. Yupo Paper
Yupo is fun paper to play with and experiment new techniques on. I can’t imagine any child wouldn’t love it! It is silky smooth and lush, and with ink or markers is complete joy. Our kids love to use the Sakura Gelly Roll pens on it, or the Touch brush markers. The markers just saturate the paper with color, and the gelly rolls are glossy and glittery.

11. Kuretake Bimoji Pen
My favorite pen, for drawing, sketching and writing. We can’t keep enough of these in our house. Everyone loves them. Solid black, smooth, felt tip, they are great for outlines and detailed drawing work.

12. Cigar Boxes
Now that you have all the supplies, make sure you grab a $3 cigar box. Cigar boxes are the best! When I was kid I kept all my crayons in my grandpa’s old cigar boxes, and so it is nostalgic for me. But besides that, they are appealing to look at, practical for storage, stackable, sturdy, and a great size for almost anything.

I also love: Amsterdam acrylic inksGelly Roll pens, Papermate felt tips, Sakura Micron Pens, Molotow paint markersStrathmore blank cards/envelopesArt Graf carbon disc + Aquash water brush, and Traveler pocket journal sketch

Here are some lovely combos:

Basswood art panel + Beeswax crayons + Niji watercolors + cigar box
Basswood art panel + Playcolor + cigar box
Basswood Art Panel + Marabu Art Crayons + cigar box
Claybord Art Panel + Amsterdam acrylic inks + beeswax crayons + cigar box
Utility sketchbook + Gelly pens + Yupo
Utility sketchbook + Kuretake Bimoji Pen
Yupo paper + Kuretake Bimoji Pen + Touch Brush Markers + cigar box
Yupo paper + Gelly Pens + IWAKO eraser for cuteness + cigar box
Strathmore vision watercolor pad + Niji or Yarka watercolors + cigar box
Strathmore vision watercolor pad + Marabu Art Crayons + cigar box
Strathmore vision watercolor pad + Art Graf carbon disc + Aquash water brush
Claytoon + IWAKO erasers + storage container


Leave a comment

Who’s a cute Acryla tin?

The dust has finally settled on fall back-to-school and preparations for our annual Holiday Catalog…now there’s time to show off the catalog and all of the cool stuff we packed into it!  I will try to highlight one or two of the products we’re thinking about each week thru the end of the sale, so watch this space, as well as our Instagram and Facebook posts.

colorgridlarge

Holbein Acryla Gouache Custom Set Color Mixing Grid by Anna Miller

This week’s “star of the show” is the item we’re most excited about in the whole catalog: our exclusive Holbein Acryla Gouache Set.  Everyone loves Acryla…it’s the gouache that dries permanent like acrylic and the acrylic that is velvety matte like gouache.  It has no color shift from wet to dry, and it’s totally mixable with other gouache, other acrylic, or pretty much any other water-based media you can think of.  And the color palette is large and unique…there’s colors in Acryla that you won’t find in any other paint line.  In fact, this was the catalyst for our exclusive set: combining a range of bread & butter primaries with best-selling, esoteric colors like Ice Green and Horizon Blue.  We think the super sale price for the eighteen 20ml colors alone is enough to make this custom kit a homerun…but wait, there’s more!

 

To make our set extra special, Holbein North America imported these fantastic, cylindrical metal tins – embellished inside & out with the illustrations of Japanese artist Yuko Higuchi – to package the paint.  Durable and eye-catching, these tins have just enough room to add six more of your favorite 20ml Acryla colors…there’s even a color chart included to help you choose your favorites!

If you’re thinking ahead to gift-giving season, consider this paint set for the graphic designer/illustrator/watercolorist/architect/wood carver on your list…it’s only available at Wet Paint!

Plus, check out the little video we made about this awesome set!


4 Comments

2017 New Schmincke Set, now available for preorder

74769097^2

2017 Limited Edition Botanical Set, colors chosen by Marilyn Garber

Due to the amazing support of our watercolor loving friends, our first 2017 Limited Edition Schmincke travel tin (Botanical, colors chosen by Marilyn Garber) sold out in record time. We were encouraged by the phenomenal interest (and ongoing requests) to put together a second set for 2017, which seemed appropriate given 2017 is the 125th Anniversary of Horadam Watercolors.

As part of the anniversary celebration, Schmincke updated the color selection of their watercolors. We lost a couple colors entirely to the raw materials no longer being available – Walnut Brown and Pozzuoli Earth, RIP. A few colors just got new names and a few got replaced with similar pigment formulas, so have both new names and reference numbers. For full details on the changes to old colors, see this pdf from Schmincke: What’s different in the new assortment.

The most exciting thing about the new assortment, of course, is 35 New Colors.

swatches

The new Horadam colors run the gamut – they include historical pigments, transparent earths and modern colors. We decided to put together a split primary palette that not only introduces you to these new colors, but also allows you to create magical mixes for a range of subjects. As with the Botanical set earlier in the year, this selection of 12 colors will be in the squarish tin that holds a total of 18 half pans…which leaves 6 spots to customize the palette to your tastes or outfit with your favorite go-to colors. *winkwink* We have free shipping at $99.

74774097^2Here is the selection in the new tin:

AQ344 Perylene Red Dark

AQ359 Saturn Red

AQ483 Cobalt Azure

AQ477 Phthalo Sapphire

AQ222 Yellow Orange

AQ205 Rutile Yellow

AQ370 Potter’s Pink

AQ371 Perylene Violet

AQ784 Perylene Green

AQ789 Hematite Black

AQ513 Viridian

AQ672 Mahogany

Important Notes: We have confirmed shipment from Germany, but our lovely sets are on the slow boat. Barring any issues with customs, we hope to see them by mid-October and are now taking preorders. There are two duplicate colors with the Botanical set –  Cobalt Azure and Perylene Green.  We will not be making changes or substitutions to the colors in the new set. In addition to the new sets, we expect to see dot sheets back in with this import shipment. We anticipate a heavy influx of orders for this set – they will be processed in the sequence they are received. Order fulfillment may be longer than usual due to volume, once they arrive.

Click on through to preorder the new set, $69.95 each

Want to expand your set with more new colors?

Want to browse all of the Horadam half pans?

Want the awesome gel pen that I used as a resist in the color swatches?

kateheadshotThank you to all of our water-media, Schmincke-loving artist friends. We could not make these unique items happen without your patronage.

Happy Painting!

Kate Katzer


Leave a comment

Is That a Pencil in Your Pocket?

There’s been a lot of attention paid in the media to the pushback against digital tablets in favor of, well, tablets.  It seems that more and more folks are discovering (or rediscovering) the appeal of making marks on paper.  And while you hear a lot about all the different kinds of notebooks out there, the tools that are doing the actual writing and drawing are sometimes less recognized.  What better way to “fix” that (pun intended and explained below) than to cast a discerning and appreciative eye on our old friend, the humble pencil?

IMG_6447For many people, a pencil has a wooden, yellow barrel with a pink eraser on top.  That describes Dixon’s Ticonderoga, amongst others, and we’ve got ‘em at Wet Paint.  We’ve also got lots of pencils specifically made for drawing.  Artist-grade pencils are like the fancy cousins of the “yellow pencil”…they’re related, in that they have lead encased in a wooden barrel.  The big difference is the very high quality lead they contain and the fact that this lead comes in a bunch of different hardnesses (see the guide below), allowing the artist to make a range of marks from smudgy dark to scratchy light.  Caran d’Ache produces a remarkable artists’ graphite pencil called Grafwood – 15 hardnesses of the nicest graphite you’ve ever used.  Czech company Koh-I-Noor is credited with the creation of the graphite pencil we know today…Wet Paint stocks their Toison D’or line of artists’ pencils.  We also carry high quality pencils from German Faber Castell, Austrian Cretacolor and English Derwent.

Koh-I-Noor-Pencil-Point-of-Purchase-Sign

Sometimes a pencil is that thing that clicks when you push down on the eraser and lead comes out.  Those are known as mechanical pencils and we’ve got tons of those, too.  Modern mechanical pencils are available in four standard lead sizes – .3mm, .5mm, .7mm and .9mm – and a variety of lead hardnesses (though not as many as artists’ pencils).  Pentel’s new Orenz actually comes in a teeny tiny .2mm, but it’s the exception!  One of our favorite new mechanical pencils is the OHTO SHARP .5mm wooden mechanical pencil.  It looks like a small, regular pencil, but it clicks!  Available in three appealing colors…I think everybody on staff owns at least one of them!

IMG_6448

The architects and engineers reading this may have their hands in the air at this point, because there are also mechanical style pencils that hold larger lead sizes than the four I mentioned above.  Lead holders, as these are called, accept lead sizes from 2mm to 5.6mm.  This heartier lead is perfect for the demands placed on it by makers…of buildings and art.  One of our most popular lead holders is the Fixpencil (remember my pun?) from Caran d’Ache.  Available in several lead sizes, color accents, and surfaces, the Fixpencil combines workman-like durability with sleek Swiss design…they are very handsome tools.

Back to the basic yellow pencil.  Some of our favorite writing tools are essentially “regular” pencils, just more stylish.  The Blackwing pencil, for instance, only comes in a few different hardnesses, but in a multitude of limited edition finishes and colored barrels.  The unique square ferrules and replaceable erasers make them stand out from the crowd.  Speaking of standing out, my favorite #2 pencils of all time have to be the Viarco Vintage series pencils.  Both pencils and packaging are faithful reproductions of Viarco products from the 1940s to the 1970s. These boxes are so authentic, a slip of paper had to be added to accommodate a bar code! These six unique 12-pencil boxes are designed in Portugal using long-established production methods, and the quality you’ve come to expect from Viarco.  They are almost too fantastic to use.

Oh, and we’ve got notebooks, too….


Leave a comment

Thinking About Hard Edge Abstraction This Week

Great friend and customer, Dr. Michael Path, dropped by Wet Paint yesterday with a beautiful monograph he’d told me about on a previous visit.  Somehow I had never heard of the California abstractionist John McLaughlin (1898-1976), but seeing the reproductions in Dr. Path’s book made me excited to see the paintings in person.  As it turns out, I could have seen a bunch of them at the recent LACMA exhibition…if I had known about it before it closed on the 16th of April (and I was in Los Angeles).  Rats!

A show I also would have liked to have seen in person was the Carmen Herrera show at The Whitney last winter.  Herrera is another artist that I – and apparently many others – hadn’t heard of prior to her highly acclaimed career retrospective, even though she’s been working consistently for over 60 years, and continues producing new paintings at age 101.

Besides being largely ignored, then rediscovered, by the mainstream art establishment, McLaughlin and Herrera share another thing in common: their work falls into the category of “Hard Edge” painting.  This term was first used by curator Jules Langsner in his catalog introduction to the show Four Abstract Classicists at The San Francisco Museum of Art in 1959 (McLaughlin was one of the four painters exhibited).  Although the phrase was coined in the mid-century, this style of non-figurative, geometric abstraction dates back to the early twentieth century in the paintings of Hilma af Klint, Kazimir Malevich, Piet Mondrian and Josef Albers.  The heyday of Hard Edge painting & sculpture, though, was definitely the late 1950’s thru the mid 1970’s as romantic Abstract Expressionism fractured into “cooler” movements, notably Pop, Mimimalism, Light & Space, and Hard Edge.  Artists like Frank Stella. Kenneth Noland, Anne Truitt, Ellsworth Kelly and Jo Baer created their signature abstract works at this time.

As the recent McLaughlin and Herrera shows demonstrate, there continues to be great interest in geometric abstraction, and a new generation anxious to relearn and reinterpret the modes associated with it.  German born Tomma Abts, the first woman to win the Tate’s prestigious Turner Prize, is perhaps the best known of a new wave of artists interpreting Hard Edge with a contemporary eye (check out her sculpture at the Walker the next time it’s on exhibit).  Closer to home, Lisa Nankivil, Ann Pibal, Ruben Nusz, and Melanie Pankau (all with connections to Minneapolis) are creating art that has traditional Hard Edge painting at its root, but all four are taking their work in unique and exciting directions.

NIJT-Nichiban-251-TapeEvidenced by the breadth of approaches from just the handful of artists above, there is no one Hard Edge style or technique.  There’s also no one particular material required for creating hard edge art.  That said, there are a few supplies that we’ve seen artists return to over & over.  The “edge” in Hard Edge usually arrives from masking one area from another, and our favorite thing to do that with is Nichiban Masking Tape from Japan.  As our friend Roz Stendahl once said: “This tape is so good, it should have its own name (besides masking tape).”  Super thin (no “ridge” to your “edge”), fantastically adhesive, and easy & clean to remove, if you use tape anywhere in your painting practice, you should use Nichiban.  Eliminating the “hand” of the artist – the gestural brushstrokes associated with a more expressionistic approach – is a hallmark of many Hard Edge paintings.  Golden Artist Color’s Self Leveling Clear Gel produces an even, transparent film when added to acrylic paint, so your color fields are smooth and distraction-free.  Finally, unlike our sister stores on the coasts, we don’t have as many canonical artists dropping by for paint.  30-ArtistTubesGRPHowever, we have supplied two famous Hard Edge painters and both chose the same paint: Lascaux Artist Acrylic.  Seemingly every acrylic says it has a creamy, oil-like consistency, but Lascaux really delivers…gorgeous color that handles like a dream.

 

I hope that, like Dr. Path and me, you find inspiration in the work of these artists.  I look forward to seeing you at Wet Paint soon!