Wet Paint

Artists' Materials & Framing in St. Paul, MN


2017 New Schmincke Set, now available for preorder


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.


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

Fall’s Rich Mix of Classes


This blog post was written by Virginia McBride, Classes and Events Manager at Wet Paint

Things we can count on at this time of year: the farmers markets are brimming with produce, the days are a little shorter, the air has started to turn a little cooler, the crickets are chorusing, the Minnesota State Fair is underway and soon Fall classes will start up at Wet Paint.

We are excited to bring you a robust season of classes that will support your continuing creative pursuits or perhaps introduce you to new materials or techniques for the first time.

Our fall catalog and online listings are ready. Here’s a look at what’s in store:

You’ll find multi week courses in watercolor and acrylic painting, awakening creativity, italic lettering, drawing animals, urban sketching, and rosemaling; daylong or weekend immersive workshops in folded and ruling pen lettering, collage, gestural watercolor, drawing facial features, oil painting without solvents, direct watercolor, mixed media, and oil paint + cold wax medium , along with many single session classes ranging from book and paper arts to 3D, organizational journaling, brush pen lettering and airbrush.

There are some new instructors and classes to point out:

Meet Your Creative Self- “The Artist’s Way” taught by Tara Tieso, Brush Pen Lettering, and Shrink Film Charms classes taught by Kaytee Crawford, Drawing Animals from Photographs taught by Tracie Thompson, Making Watercolors Sing: Split Primary Color Theory taught by Tara Sweeney, and for those continuing in watercolor or acrylics, Watercolor II: Figures in Landscape and Acrylic Painting-Level 2+3 taught by veteran instructors Tara Sweeney and Carl Oltvedt (respectively).

We are fortunate to be able to partner with some of our manufacturers to bring you a selection of classes and events featuring expert instruction and excellent art materials including:

From the Pacific Northwest: renowned watercolorist, Ron Stocke and oil painter Angela Bandurka will give a demo and each will teach daylong classes featuring M.Graham Paints (Oregon), Introductory Airbrush featuring IWATA airbrush  (also headquartered in Oregon)  taught by Rurik Hover; Oil and Cold Wax Medium with R+F Handmade paints (out of New York) taught by the incredibly popular Julie Snidle (from St.Louis); Minneapolis-based instructor Diana Eicher’s Family Print Activity classes with Speedball/Akua printmaking supplies, the pride of Statesville, North Carolina!

From Minnesota-  Autograph Digital Projectors and Light Pads demo/tutorials with John Davis and Two classes using CAVE handmade paper (from across the river in Minneapolis) –Hand bound Sketchbooks taught by Bridget O’Malley, and Nature Journal: Book Arts and Writing classes taught by Amber Stoner.

In addition to classes you’ll find some incredible free demos and events this fall:

With 45+ classes and events, it’s going to be a bountiful and creative fall in the Wet Paint classroom. Hope to see you there!

Leave a comment

Verra’s Paper Picks of the Week: Japanese Kingin Tissue & Indian Embossed Pearly Crocodile

Kingin Tissue

I love tissues for collaging because they are so thin and lightweight, and have a very pretty finished look. Kingin Tissue has such loveliness, it’s ethereal – wispy with added inclusions of gold and silver leaf flecks. When I’m adhering it in a collage, I like to use Nori Paste. Nori Paste is great for delicate papers and dries to an invisible finish. The layering of these papers on top of watercolor paintings is also beautiful- and always a lovely surprise to see what happens when all elements are put together. I truly embrace surprises!

Kingin Tissue is available in 5 colors, is 21×31″ in size and is machine made in Japan.



Indian Embossed Pearly Crocodile

I just recently had this paper in my hands, and all I can say is “WOW!”  This paper has got the wow-factor.  Pearly white on one side and flat white on the other. If you like highly textured decorative paper, this might be one to own.  I have always loved to dry brush acrylic paint over textured papers, and this one blew me away with how good it looked. This unique sheet is 22×30″ in size and machine made in India.

BONUS!  If you like reptile looking paper, be sure to check out the Thai Crocodile sheets as well (pictured below, and available in 4 colors). These papers are 24×36″ and machine made in Thailand.

verrapaperblogMy name is Verra Blough, and I have been the Paper Department Manager at Wet Paint for 25 amazing years.  Wet Paint stocks over 20,000 individual sheets and 2,000 unique styles of paper, including papers from all over the world: China, Canada, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Nepal, Philippines, Portugal, Thailand, and the USA.  We have some locally made ones, too!

Whether you’re looking for a surface for drawing, painting or printmaking, or a decorative sheet for bookbinding, invitations, or collage, I have the good fortune of seeing all of them and working with many of them…it would be my pleasure to help you find the perfect paper for your project.   With that in mind, I will be blogging about paper and highlighting some of my favorites, as well as some helpful hints.  Let’s get started in exploring paper!


I can’t read my own handwriting!

2017-04-07 10-56-18.424

Fifteen years ago I was in a corporate tech job and one day I didn’t have a pen. I hadn’t misplaced my pen. I simply had no pen at my desk and likely hadn’t written anything down for days. I didn’t need to. It was a tech job and everything went directly into the system. It was the early 2000s and, thanks to debit cards, I wasn’t even writing checks all that often.

Soon after that I got a promotion, certainly due to my amazing efficiency and technical prowess, and I needed to write again in two common and important situations. I had to write on whiteboards for presentations and I had to act like I was taking notes in stupid, boring meetings while someone else got to huff the marker aroma. I enjoyed the challenge of writing legibly with a dry-erase marker backwards over my shoulder while talking. However, rolling a fat, heavy, corporate logo-ed pen with a crappy OEM rollerball cartridge across a legal pad to stay awake while someone reads each word from their own PowerPoint slides happened far more often and it took a terrible toll on my penmanship.

Now I am back to a world where I write more than “trouble tickets” and email. My degraded handwriting needs to be addressed. Slowing down helps and I’ll be practicing more thoughtful lettering. But I work at the pen store and I know that picking the right device is half the battle. No more “award-quality” swag pens.

milanRight now my go-to is the Milan P-1 Gel Touch pen. I keep one at the ready on my keyboard and it is the one I use for signing checks. The “dry” roller has the right amount of drag and the line is bold but not too thick. It reduces lift-offs and accidental ligatures when I print and keeps my cursive from looking like I’m jotting down my EKG. In the grip department I like the rubberized coating and uniform hex body. Style-wise it strikes me like the Ford Taurus in RoboCop: High utility, clean lines, and durable.

As an autonomic pen-clicker I give the button action a 9. The P-1 provides satisfying resistance and return that won’t sprain your thumb with a quiet, but audible, “POP!”

Milan also makes a 4″ Mini version and we can barely keep those in stock. It’s the ultimate tactical pen.  It’s also less than a dollar. We are stocked up right now though, and during our “Make Your Mark” sale all pens (and pencils) are 15% off!


three pens

It’s really quite Swiss.

Over in the pen case we have three more click pens that range from a step up in quality to a fun fine writing instrument.

The Horizon Otho is stellar. The ultra fine rollerball is fantastically tight.

The Infinite BP is a heavier basic ballpoint pen with smooth, soft action that might not soothe the nervous clicker but would certainly help everyone around him.

The Caran d’Ache 849, which packs a smooth Tungsten Carbide ball point, is a modern design classic that is just heavy enough in the hand without being large or ponderous. At about 40 bucks it might find a permanent home as your purse or pocket jotter but with the look and the colors available you could get several and call them fashion accessories.

If you aren’t a clicker you might like the Pigma Micron PN. It’s the same permanent, lightfast, and waterproof ink as the precise point fiber tip pens in the same barrel and cap but the tip is a durable plastic nib (PN=Plastic Nib!). It’s designed for the jobs that would wreck a nice fiber tip, like signing checks at Zantigo to pay for a sack of delicious Chilitos but still wanting something decent for drawing after lunch. We have found that the one-size nib allows for some variation in the line. You’ll get fine with light pressure and bold with a little more.


I won’t sign my name in red.


The right writing materials make a difference whether they are your go-to disposable or your soul mate of a fountain pen.  Come in and check out the pen rack or step over to our fine writing counter to try them and find the pen that helps you communicate more clearly. 15% off helps and the Make Your Mark Sale runs through the end of the month.

Leave a comment

Minding our beeswax

I got a text last night after the store closed. It got me thinking about a couple of trends we’ve noticed that have something in common.


Tell Alex we have wax coming out of our ears. (but we mainly sell the stuff from bees and plants)

Wax is amazing smooth sticky stuff. We carry it for scads of uses and on the main it’s pretty much all the same bee and soy waxes in different formats (power, blocks, granules). It is a removable resist for water based techniques (fiber, batik, watercolor).It’s a mixable medium and finish for oil based media. On its own you can make sculptures out of wax for 3D sketching and for castings (lost wax technique).  It’s also in all the colored pencils in some quantity.


Hey Paige, there was a bunch of bees in here a little while ago asking for you.


Wax is a traditional matting and stiffening agent for oil paints and finishes.

Oil painters use wax mediums like these in the paint to get a stiffer texture for brush and knife strokes and in some mixtures the result  can be burnished to a satin luster. They are available ready to use or can be prepared with basic materials and a good recipe. There is a wealth of information on cold wax technique here.  As a finishing touch wax and wax mixed with varnish are often applied to a completed painting for a similar result. Note that the wax finishes will take much longer to cure and will never be as hard, but are easily removed for cleaning. Encaustics are a kind of paint made of wax enjoying a revival ove rthe last couple of years. We wrote about them a little while ago. I think the resurgence comes with the trend of having electricity available in artists studios and also the greater availability of proper surfaces like Ampersand cradled boards.  The colors have to be used hot and most painters can now have a hot plate on their table for heating the color palette or the panel itself to keep it workable. There’s a hot wax aroma in an encaustic studio which some people dig but ventilation is suggested. Boards are the most popular surface for encaustic painting, it doesn’t bend and flex as well as oils. These paintings have a harder finish than the oil mediums and can also be burnished to a beautiful warm patina with amazing depth of color.

We have little cakes of fine beeswax and kistka (the needle used to draw the design on the eggs) on order right now for one of our most popular free demo event, Ukrainian Egg Decorating. Everyone says this particular wax smells wonderful!  We are also getting a few dozen goose and chicken eggs from a local farmer friend that will be already blown out for ornaments and display!


We have a wonderful sample egg in our display case! Ask to see it!

Leave a comment

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.


Leave a comment

Learn to Paint from a Modern Master


This blog post is from Virginia, our Event Coordinator at Wet Paint:

At Wet Paint we are fortunate to know so many incredible artists, many of whom are also great teachers. Carl Oltvedt is one of them.


Reflections II


Carl taught at Minnesota State University, Moorhead, where he was a Professor in the School of Visual Arts for 32 years.  Back in the day, he worked for an art materials retailer in Minneapolis so his knowledge of art materials and uses is extensive.  You can see some of his paintings at Groveland Gallery where he is currently represented. His work is in national and international private and corporate collections. He currently has his painting Reflections II on view through January 2017 in the US Embassy in Olso, Norway.

Carl has a lot of credentials but he’s not intimidating…he is one of the most caring, attentive and skillful teachers you’d ever want to meet.

And here’s an opportunity to do just that when you sign up for Carl’s multi session  Introduction to Acrylic Painting class at Wet Paint, Tuesdays from 4:00-7:00pm, October 4th-November 1st.

In this class you will learn basic painting fundamentals – how to build a painting from start to finish, simple color theory and composition, and how colors mix and relate to one another.  The class starts out simply and more advanced technique is added in as the course progresses. You’ll be working from a still life. Paint and some shared supplies will be provided, though a few additional materials are required.

Starting a new medium can be daunting. Acrylic colors and mediums offer a huge array of choice which can be overwhelming. So it’s great to have expert guidance, a stretch of time to absorb it all, and materials chosen with your experience in mind.

I believe that real, long term enjoyment of a new medium comes from gaining knowledge of how to use the materials, combined with basic principles of art.  These foundations give the aspiring artist the best chance to realize their vision.  Whether you  are new to painting or painted years ago and want to get back into it, there is no time like the present to begin or begin again. I hope to see you there. Click here to find out more and register online.

Virginia McBride
Programming Manager

Space is limited…please register no later than Sunday, October 2nd

Leave a comment

Week 10: Spring into Action with Abstract Expression

Is your subconscious celebrating spring? Time to let your spontaneity lead you as we explore Abstract Expressionism.  Taking inspiration from action painters, Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, let your intuition and paint fly! Both these painters found rhythm in their painting process, so don’t dilly-dally during this exercise- keep that paint moving.  We recommend using acrylic inks (High Flow Acrylic is a great choice) to tint your acrylic mediums and extend your color and creative options.  Whether you choose a spring color palette or not, try drip painting in the style of Pollock, or a figure in the style of de Kooning.

This week at Wet Paint, all acrylic inks are 10% off!  Mention the Weekly Workouts at the counter to receive your discount!  Golden Acrylics Clear Tar Gel Medium is especially great for flingin’!

These Weekly Workouts will be posted as Events in our Facebook Group, click here to join!
We will also post our exercises here on our blog
Click here to see our list of suggested art supplies

Leave a comment

Wet Paint’s Friends at the Art Academy

New location at 651 South Snelling Ave.

New location at 651 South Snelling Ave.

Once the Minnesota State Fair is over, Wet Paint, Grand Avenue and Saint Paul is buzzing with the excitement of the Back to School season. And after you settle into the fall semester routine, make sure you have set aside time for art classes. A favorite school for many of our customers is the Art Academy here in St. Paul. For 20 years, the Art Academy has leased space from educational institutions. Early in 2013, they moved into their own space at 651 South Snelling.

Sarah Jane Stowell Oil

Sarah Jane Stowell

We are raffling off free tuition for one class for the fall term 2013 which runs eight weeks from September 30th through December 8th. It is for any class (except the figure drawing class or co-op). This is a $180.00 value. Simply fill out the raffle form at our front counter or the contact form below, or on our website (see below for more info) between now and September 19th. The drawing will take place Friday, September 20th at 10 a.m… You will be notified by phone or email. Of course, this raffle is only open to anyone who can attend a class in Saint Paul.

The Art Academy opened in 1993 and celebrating its 20th year. Director Jim Robinson came to the Twin Cities from Chicago with a degree from Columbia College to study at Atelier Lack. As he read art history he questioned trends in kids’ art instruction. “When I was growing up, children’s art education had dwindled to craft-based “creative” exercises. Skills weren’t being taught. I wanted to create a program with a focus. I believe kids have an innate capacity to draw and paint exceptionally well, and I constructed a school so those natural abilities can blossom.” To support that idea, Robinson researched Renaissance teaching methods and has patented a method based on those ideals.

State Fair Blue Ribbon! Andrea Fields, Age 15

State Fair Blue Ribbon! Andrea Fields, Age 15

The Art Academy has taught thousands of children (and adults) drawing and painting skills. Although the school is structured with classes, it offers a Montessori model. Students work on individual projects at their own pace. Instructors teach 2 to 7 students at a time. The atmosphere is supportive and positive, fun and non-competitive. Similar to the Suzuki violin method, Robinson does not believe that the sole purpose of instruction is to train professionals. “In any art school, only a small fraction of students pursue fulltime careers. Equally important is to build confidence and an appreciation of art that fosters individuality and nurtures kids to become well-rounded adults.”

State Fair Winner! Malcolm Kelner, Age 7

State Fair Winner! Malcolm Kelner, Age 7

What also develops over time is a community of students and teachers spanning generations. Kids return year after year, forming long-term relationships with Robinson and his staff. Many have become apprentices and teachers at The Art Academy. “By structuring the school around a Renaissance studio we were able to help students acquire successful life skills to carry into any path.”

This is a great opportunity to learn or improve your drawing skills. You can see the proven results of their methods to teach representational drawing and painting skills at their website http://www.theartacademy.net. Get into the swing of the back to school season and add an art class.

Steps for using our online form to sign up for the raffle: Start at our Contact page. Here you will see a section called “Send Us A Message” where you can enter your Name (first and last, please) and Email address. In the Comments box, please enter your phone number and write “I am signing up for the Art Academy Raffle!” so we know to enter your name and info into the raffle. That’s it!  Or use the form below.