Wet Paint

Artists' Materials & Framing in St. Paul, MN


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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.”


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So Many Things!

We’re getting new creative supplies almost daily after our trip to the art materials trade show in Salt Lake City…here are a few of the exciting things that have already arrived:

rublevRublev Colours Artist Oils from Natural Pigments are unlike any other brand of oil paints today. Why? One reason is that they use genuine natural and historical pigments like those used by the old masters. Most of these pigments are not found in other brands. Another reason is that Rublev Colours Artist Oils are made as all oil colors were before modern tube colors—without additives.  Rublev Oils contain only pigment and oil. They are formulated to maintain the specific characteristics of each pigment, so the character found in each 50ml tube is unique due to the pigment inside. We’re thrilled to have Rublev in stock in time for the three day Oil Painting Best Practices workshop in June, taught by George O’Hanlon and Tatiana Zaytseva of Natural Pigments.  It’s the only time the workshop will be offered in the Saint Paul/Minneapolis area, so don’t miss this opportunity!

fabrianoStudio Watercolor Pads from Fabriano While supplies last, you can get an 11×14” 50 sheet pad of either hot press or cold press Fabriano Studio 140# watercolor paper for only $19.99 (list price $54.95). Not a dream, not a misprint…this amazing deal will not last long.  Studio paper is acid free, with a high cotton content and both internal & external sizing.  You will love it and your art supply budget will, too!

Viarco Vintage Collection Pencils These beauties were one of our absolute favorites from the show, and they are just arriving as of this writing. Both pencils and packaging are faithful reproductions of Viarco products from the 1940s to the 1970s.  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.  Choose from six unique 12 pencil boxes, but don’t wait…there’s a very limited number available.

viarco

guerrillaGuerrilla Painter Campaign Box The Campaign Box™ is an alternative to the traditional pochade box or French easel. Think of it as a portable taboret that mounts on almost any standard camera tripod. It provides more work space, a large center area for a palette, two storage compartments under the slide out palettes, and brush rests. The Campaign Box™ easily attaches to the legs of any standard tripod with adjustable clamps. Shown pictured with Guerrilla’s tripod mounted #17 Flex Easel™…it goes great with a Guerrilla Watercolorbord, too. We have this set up at the front of the store…stop by for a test drive!

Richeson Transparent Marble White Oil Paint This safflower oil and marble dust combination produces a slow drying, transparent white that can be used to extend your oil colors while subtly tinting them. We’ve just received a stack of 5oz tubes of this versatile & useful white…we’re sure it will become a staple on your palette.richesonoilpromo

padsjournalsTons of New Pads & Journals Fun ‘n’ fancy new cover styles in Michael Roger Press Decomposition Books; brand new Nepalese soft cover books with dots & chevrons, mermaids and cats; cool new Moleskine “Two Go” books with alternating lined & blank pages, plus blank and lined books featuring handsome chevron pattern fabric covers; attractive lined and blank books from France with classic “Parisian-style” art covers; plus new colorful cover ranges from Rhodia and Legion (including new Stonehenge Aqua blocks).

djecoActivity Kits from Djeco Back by popular demand, these themed creative kits from France are designed by artists from around the world. Choose from a bunch of new, uniquely intriguing projects, including collage, paper crafts, drawing, silk painting and more.

JAC9515-Jagua-BoxJacquard Jagua Temporary Tattoo Kits Bluish-black temporary tattoo ink made from fruit juice, jagua has been used by indigenous peoples of the Amazon for thousands of years to create body art. Safe, non-toxic and 100% natural, Jacquard’s Jagua tattoos last 1-2 weeks and LOOK LIKE A REAL TATTOO! Apply to any part of the body to express yourself, fool your friends or test drive tattoo ideas!

cutethingsSuper Cute Stuff: New styles of Nepalese garlands (decorate your home!); tons of new Japanese stickers (Whales & cats! Ninjas! Sumo wrestlers & cats! Sushi…& cats!); Fancy Fox Light from Creativity For Kids (decoupage a real lamp!)

That’s a lot of stuff, and there’s still a bunch more on the way. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and this blog for all of our updates.  Teaser: there are two really big events in May that you won’t want to miss hearing about!


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Darin and Scott went to beautiful Utah, barely went outside and it was well worth it.

Darin and I went to the big art supply show this week in Salt Lake City. It’s been nineteen years since the last time I went to a NAMTA show and I’m still reeling. It’s a gas seeing all the people behind these products and meeting up with other store owners to catch up, talk shop, and see if anyone has found the next adult coloring book trend or the new Bob Ross.

If you have been following us on Instagram or Facebook you may have seen a few sneak previews of stuff we found for the store like the Black Black drawing pads, the Viarco vintage pencils (cooler than cool), and some new Daniel Smith oil colors. Stay tuned and we’ll let you know when these and more (including some TOP SECRET ITEMS) hit St Paul and our online store.

During the opening presentation I was pleased to see that the NAMTA organization and the University of Delaware are continuing the work of the late Mark Gottsegen with the Materials Information and Technical Resources for Artists  (MITRA) website. I had to take a break from reading the forums there to get this blog post done. Let us know if you also find something interesting there.

logoI was also impressed that the group is advancing their Art Matters! campaign for arts advocacy. You should expect to see some of the Art Facts in our store and posts. I ordered up some Art Matters! shirts for the staff as well.

I was excited to spend a few minutes that evening with Robert Gamblin, who mentioned gamblinWet Paint during his acceptance of the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award (Congratulations, Robert!). The next day we caught him in the Gamblin Artist Colors booth and Darin had brought along a detailed customer question about mixing satin and matte finishes and applying varnish. Robert’s general advice for application of Gamvar is to always work in thin layers by applying a liberal amount and then using a varnish brush to pull off the excess until only a film remains for each coat.

Out on the floor we had our running shoes on and covered a lot of ground in four days.

We picked up some French-made journals with Coptic bindings and modern art covers from our friend Greg Daniels when we were in his booth talking about DaVinci watercolor brushes. (Tip of the cap to Phillip Forstall for helping with the term “Coptic binding!” ) These books look great and feel like they are delivered by time machine from 1959. I can hear jazz playing when I open them.

Karin Harding from Michael Harding Artists Oil Colors turned the tables when we got to her booth and interviewed us for a bit. She wanted to get more info about the artists that are so dedicated to using their incredibly rich handmade oils.

In the Yasutomo booth we checked out some new brushes and origami papers. One lovely item mystified us. We ended up eating it.butter2

Maureen Labro and I chatted after the President’s reception while we were stranded at the Utah Museum of Natural History one evening waiting for the shuttle bus to get towed through the snow (4 inches can stop a bus? Maybe in Utah. Not in Minnesota!). In her booth the next day we looked at printmaking and drawing papers from Fabriano and Awagami. Check out the fun they were having in that booth!  We couldn’t leave without placing an order for a display of adorable yet incredibly well-featured travel brushes and a matching bamboo wrap. Great attention to detail on these. The wash brush has a functional scraper end.  All of our whiskey/pocket watercolor painters will have these on their get list.lil brush

 

Two audiences that are getting more attention from manufacturers this year are Plein Air painters and Bullet Journalists.

Portability and ease for the outdoor painter is number one yet the Plein Air artists also remind us they are part of a tradition of style and materials. Both efficient modern design and beautiful heritage tools and paints are well represented in some new/old products we’ll be featuring soon. More than one oil manufacturer is working on smaller tubes for you and I’m so thrilled I’m already working to rearrange the aisles to make a little more room for them.

OK, BuJo’s (aka “Bullet Journal aficionados”) we hear you. More journals with dot grids and numbered pages are arriving daily! We also got a sneak peek at a beautiful highlighter line suggested by a local journaler that has watercolor-like tones and even comes in grey! We have to wait for them to get to the US then we will get them in ASAP!

  • HOT TIP Plein Air and Bullet Journaling artists! If you are interested let us know in the comments and we’d be happy to give you a head-ups email as the new stuff hits our receiving room.

 Darin wrote up about five pages of notes from the show. Watch this space and follow us on social media for more of the finds and discoveries we brought back from our trip to SLC.


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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!