Wet Paint

Artists' Materials & Framing in St. Paul, MN


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Top 19 Art Supplies of 2019

As 2019 comes to a close, we thought it would be fun to look back on some of our favorite art supplies of the past year. Not all of these were new products, but nearly all of them were new to Wet Paint. Read on to see what made our list (in no particular order)!

Micador

We’ve been asked forever for supplies that are appropriate for the very young artist.  Australian manufacturer Micador has delivered! Designed for a full handed grip, developing motor skills, safe use & washability, Micador’s “early stART” range is perfect for artists as young as one, while the supplies & kits that make up the “Micador jR.” range were created with the needs & abilities of kids 3-8 in mind.

Hahnemühle Cezanne and Turner Watercolor Blocks

Wet Paint has been a fan of the German paper manufacturer for years, but these two 100% cotton, cold press watercolor blocks have become a new favorite at the store. Choose Cezanne is internally & externally sized for greater versatility, while Turner is internally sized only for wet into wet watercolor techniques.

Kaweco 70’s Soul Pen

German brand, Kaweco, is known at the store for their portable “Sport” series of fountain pens, but the 70’s Soul is less “sporty” and more like the classic fountain pen you’d expect with a name like that. Fun orange and cream colors with brass-colored accents makes it totally groovy.

Good Luck Minis

Not new to the world, but new to Wet Paint. Tiny rubber critters…lots of tiny critters! What do you do with them? Anything you want. Why are they “good luck?” Because they are.

Endless Recorder Notebooks

New at Wet Paint, Endless Recorders are medium-sized, hard-covered notebooks featuring ink-loving Tomoe River paper pages in four styles: blank, ruled, square grid or dot grid.

Japanese Journals 

We brought in all sorts of new Japanese journals made for writing, planning, and general notes. The Kleid Noble Note features subtle white grid on cream paper that is excellent for fountain pens. If you are looking for something to help organize your life, but don’t want a traditional planner, check out the Stalogy 1/2 Year Notebook.  For folks on the go, the Kokuyo Trystrams Field Note Grid Books are slim, pocket-sized notebooks with a sturdy cover and light grey grid lined paper. Stop by the store to see our full selection of Japanese journals!

Finetec Metallic Watercolor in open stock

If you’ve been in the store in the past year or so, you’ve probably seen these beauties at the front counter – the magpie in all of us can’t help but be drawn to the shimmer and shine of these metallic watercolors! While we’ve had the Finetec sets for years, we added the full line of individual open stock colors just this year, so now you can create your own set, or just try out a new color! Shiny!

Daniel Smith 2019 Grey Watercolors

Eight new neutral watercolors from our best-selling watercolor manufacturer, Daniel Smith. These colors were created with help from well-known watercolorists Jane Blundell, Joseph Zbukvic, and Alvaro Castagnet, so you no longer need to mix that neutral on your palette each time.

Leuchtturm Soft Cover

Another item on the list that is not new to the world, but is new to Wet Paint: Leuchtturm in soft cover. This series has your favorite dot grid, blank, or ruled in new sizes that are perfect for travelling with you. 

Holbein Designers Gouache

Although Holbein’s Designer Gouache has been around for years, we FINALLY have it at the store!  This paint has become a fast favorite with staff and customers and it is easy to see why: high pigment load for clean mixes, unique colors, and velvety finish. Lovely.

Embroidery Thread

Okay, so this product is not new to anyone, but we just brought in a modest selection this year and it is quickly becoming a popular spot in the store. We also have a few accessories such as needles and floss bobbins, so you can maybe skip a stop at one of those other places that sell them… 

Jewelry Findings

Also new to us: jewelry findings. We’re now stocking a basic selection of jump rings, ear wires and tools to get you started.

Fine Writing International

These high quality fountain pens come in a unique range of styles, and can be filled with your favorite ink in several different ways. Check out the Planet Series for a range of colors inspired by the planets, and the Brass pen for a rugged, yet elegant option.

ColorVerse Ink

For an out-of-this-world new ink, look no further than the cosmic-themed ink selection from ColorVerse. Sold in a pack of two, you’ll find a large 65ml bottle of the main color,  paired with a cute 15ml bottle of another color. And with pairings such as Photon & Gluon or Matter & Anti-matter, you’re unlikely to find anything like it in the universe.

St. Louis Art Supply Pen Cleaner

Need to get dry ink off your dip pen or fountain pen nibs? Our friends at St. Louis Art Supply are making a homemade pen cleaner that we stock in 16oz and 4oz bottles. Works great, and supports another independent art supply store.

Etchr Mini Palette & Sketchbook

Ever wished you could bring ALL THE COLORS when you’re out urban sketching? Well, Australian company, Etchr, has made it possible! The Etchr Mini Palette holds up to 37 watercolors in its tiny porcelain wells. Also new from Etchr are their watercolor Sketchbooks which feature 100% cotton 230gsm. watercolor paper in an elegantly bound landscape format. Available in cold or hot press.

Pentel Pocket Brush Pen in Sepia and Grey

Your favorite Pentel Pocket Brush Pen now with sepia or gray pigmented ink! Features the classic synthetic brush filament to create thin or thick strokes, and 2 refill ink cartridges. A staff and customer favorite!

Stonehenge Aqua Black

We are big fans of all things Stonehenge, and this year they came out with the first ever black watercolor paper! Rich dark color on a classic 140lb cold press that looks amazing with Finetec metallic watercolors and gouache!

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Hahnemuhle ZigZag Accordion Books

Hahnemühle ZigZag Accordion Books

These came out this past spring and we’ve been excited about them ever since! Ideal for the urban sketcher or artist who likes to paint in panorama, these books have a heavy watercolor paper folded as an accordion so you can paint on one half of the page at a time, or unfold it for an extra-wide landscape!

It’s been a great year of art supplies and art making at Wet Paint! Thanks for being part of it and here’s to another creative year in 2020!

What were your favorites from 2019?


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Boosting Your Vitamin A(rt)

virginiacircleThis blog post is written by Virginia, the Programming Manager at Wet Paint. 

Crisp air, fantastic light and colorful harvests in fall invite us to awaken all of our senses, to slow down and enjoy the view. Doing so naturally promotes better health. Engaging with creative practices  does as well.  This fall we offer you a bounty of ways to begin or continue your creative practice and reap its many benefits.

Not sure where to start? The Artists Way classes are designed to help you meet your creative self wherever you are on your journey. Who Am I Now? provides strategies to navigate the transition from work life to creative next chapters.

Practice connecting more deeply to the world around you by drawing and painting in Keeping a Travel Journal: Water Media Sketching on Location or Abstract Florals Acrylic Painting. Drawing helps us to slow down and be more attentive. For this you might try Drawing with Ink and a Brush, Painterly Drawing or Drawing Pet Portraits in Pastel Pencil.

Re-connect to traditions you’ve been missing – sign up for our Rosemaling classes. Start with basic Brush Techniques and continue to develop skills and enjoyment in Roses & Design as well as single session ornament classes.

De-stress with creative activities like Mandalas, Sumi-e, Visual Journaling, Hand Block Printing or Alcohol Inks…no experience necessary!

Satisfy your curiosity in the Science of Watercolor Series.  Restore Gestural movement to your watercolor painting or take a deeper dive in Watercolor, Gouache and Experimental Drawing multi session classes.

Throughout you’ll find stimulating classes by top-notch teaching artists in Watercolor, Book Arts, Drawing, Mixed Media, Acrylic, Lettering, Encaustic and much more.

For a complete listing, head on over to our events page to browse the whole lineup!


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What’s your growing creative edge?

virginiacircle

This blog post is written by Virginia, the Programming Manager at Wet Paint.

This time of year, rebirth in Nature everywhere offers us inspiration and guidance in its incredible diversity and beauty. Likewise, we are inspired by you, our customers, to provide an expansive selection of classes and events designed to spark and guide your growing creative edge this summer!

From Continuing the Artist’s Way, Lettering & IllustrationColor Theory, to Modular Origami, Planner Peace, and Drawing Faces,   classes at Wet Paint can be just the fertile community in which to start the seeds of your creativity or deepen their roots.

 

New in the garden…you’ll find a number of textile art related classes: Drawing Fashion FlatsDrawing for Textile Artists, The Art of Joomchi … and textile projects Shibori Tea Towels, Cochineal Bandanas, and Eco printing on Silk.

Break open that budding interest in watercolor in Getting Your Feet Wet: Watercolor for the Non Artist, and a watercolor series: Set Yourself up to Paint in Watercolor demo, Watercolor Color Chart, Summer Garden, and Science of Watercolor.

Celebrate Minnesota flora and fauna with these classes for youth, families and adults: Sumi-e PaintingMinnesota Critters Family class, Acrylic Painting for ages 11-15, and Observational Drawing Wet Media and Botanicals.

Need some quality art play time? Independence Day Fireworks painting, Getting Started in Visual Journaling, Art it Up! kids, and Alcohol Inks to the rescue!

You’ll find community to share your passions and processes with at one of our free meet-ups including Art Book ClubBullet JournalingSketch-In’s, and The Artist’s Way.

Perennial favorites hold the season together. You’ll find fresh and fortifying classes by top-notch teaching artists in watercolor, acrylic painting, encaustic painting, drawing, book binding, rosemaling and hand lettering.

To see the full garden, head on over to our events page to browse the whole lineup!


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Cultivating Our Creative Community

virginiacircle

This blog post is written by Virginia, the Programming Manager at Wet Paint.

Having planted the garden and tended to its growth along the way, now comes the harvests’ bounty. And we have a bountiful season of creative opportunities for you to sample.

New varieties abound! – from the satisfaction of making stunning Crepe Paper Sunflowers and jewel toned French Lace handbound Journals, from the deeper dives of Self Portraits 3 Ways and Experimental Drawing, to the rich exploration of creative life questions such as “Who Am I Now?” Organizational Journaling for Pre and Post retirement.   There’s a whole new crop of classes designed for the absolute beginner who wants to try painting and drawing with themes like painting pets, miniature landscapes, painting in the style of MonetMatisse and more!

 

Perennial favorites form the base of any excellent feast! You’ll find fresh and fortifying classes by top-notch teaching artists in watercolor, acrylic painting, encaustic painting, drawing, book binding, rosemaling and hand lettering…including a new Monthly lettering practice Meet-up on the first Monday of the month.

 

Bright notes and deep flavors round out the season! Look for show-stopping classes and demos by visiting artists in sketching, relief printmaking and silkscreen printing as well as other great demos and hands-on events that will surprise, engage, edify and cultivate your creative life.

To see the full bounty, head on over to our events page to browse the whole lineup!


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Ara’s Top Picks for Kid’s Art Supplies

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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


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Week 12: A Bountiful Buffet of Media with Lynda Barry

81yi0KFScBLIt’s our last workout! Congratulations for finishing this round (or participating however you were able- your hosts are playing catch up, too)!  For our last workout, let’s blend all of the techniques together and illustrate a creative goal for this summer taking inspiration from Lynda Barry’s whimsical journal entries.  Use your watercolors, Neocolor II crayons, inks, collage, and stamp- feel free to add text and found objects, too.  This workout is all about you and what inspires your creativity, so whatever material or media you like is fair game!

what_120This week at Wet Paint, bring in your Weekly Workout Workbook (or if you are online, we’ll happily send you a discount code- just email kristina@wetpaintart.com) and get 20% off your entire purchase!  Excludes items already on promotion and classes.

And, the workouts will continue next winter (starting in January).  Feel free to participate in the past workouts- look in the Files section for the first 12 workouts and our Summer Session Series. Plus, we would love to have you participate in the upcoming edition of the Summer Postcard Project- details to be announced soon!  Thanks for making this round fabulous!  Love, Kristina & Liz

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


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Spark your Creativity

one of Carla's whimsical bunnies

one of Carla’s whimsical bunnies

We are pleased to have two hours next Monday, August 19th, with Carla Sonheim. Artist, author and teacher, Carla will rev up your creativity through an organic presentation and hands on event like so much of what we do at Wet Paint. Sonheim is finishing up a series of classes at the Midwest Art & Lettering Retreat and we are thrilled to have her visit Wet Paint during her trip to the Upper Midwest. She is widely known for her books “Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists,” “Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals” and “The Art of Silliness” as well as her retreat workshops and online classes. We will have her books on hand for Carla to autograph. And she will nudge you through some “blob hunting” exercises to inspire and encourage your creativity.

Sonheim's new book

Carla Sonheim’s new book

What really excites me about Carla’s work is how much fun she has. I have watched many of the demos Wet Paint has hosted this summer and many techniques I’ve seen are really created just to get beyond staring at the blank canvas and asking, what am I going to make? She breaks through that barrier and helps you unleash your creativity to turn a contour drawing of a piece of bacon into an imaginary creature looking something like a dog. Not unlike techniques the Surrealists used to draw images out of their unconscious, Sonheim’s exercises will likely find the Dr. Seuss in you rather than the Dr. Freud. The pure joy of being creative. Just what the doctor ordered.

Find out more about Carla at her website www.carlasonheim.com or follow her blog.