Wet Paint

Artists' Materials & Framing in St. Paul, MN


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Verra’s Paper Picks of the Week: Decor Blossoms & Amime Lace

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 each week, highlighting some of my favorites, as well as some helpful hints.  Let’s get started in exploring paper!

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Decor Blossoms from Nepal

This paper is handmade in Nepal from the fibrous bark  of the daphne cannabina- a bushy herb commonly known as “Lokta.”  Sheets are 19.5×29.5″ and are available in 4 color combinations: Slate on Cream, Gold on Navy Blue, Gold on Sage, and Gold on Black.

This beautiful sheet can be used for many paper art applications- book arts, collage, and decoupage- or with the Slate on Cream style, just add color to it like an oversized coloring book page! You could even just hang it up as art to enjoy on your wall.

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Japanese Amime Lace

I’ve always loved clean lines, intersecting lines, and grids. The entire Amime Lace series (of 13 colors!) really speaks to me- the grid pattern and the range of colors make me very happy.  I would like to highlight a particular favorite with the “hot pink” color.  This color says summer time to me when everything in my weird world revolves around bright colors.  Who doesn’t need a little summer feeling right now?  Hot Pink Amime Lace would also be totally appropriate for your handmade valentine…ooh la la! Whatever the project, I enjoy paring up bright colors with a crisp white paper for a fresh look and adding the various colored grids to my collages to create depth.


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Gift Ideas from Wet Paint Staff

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

Virginia’s Gift Picks

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

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

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

 

 

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

Meg’s Gift Picks

For the art appreciator:

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

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


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Wet Paint Staff Pick of the Day: Strathmore Learn to Draw Animals

We have such a wide and ever-expanding selection of journals/notebooks/pads at Wet Paint, we thought it would be fun to feature some of our staff favorites. Stay tuned to find out more about what we stock and maybe find a new favorite for yourself!

Today’s staff pick comes from Virginia: Strathmore Learn to Draw Animals

“Strathmore’s New Learn to Draw Instructional pads offer a pad and a class all in one. This spiral pad series combines high quality acid free Strathmore paper with Christopher Hart’s How-To-Draw techniques. This is ideal for beginning artists of all ages who want to learn to draw Animals, Cartoons or Manga.  Each page is laid out with the simple step-by-step mainly pictorial instruction at the top with ample room to follow along right below. The pads  also contain a couple of pages of general drawing concepts and techniques and numerous extra sheets to practice on. You can work at your own pace and many of the lessons have an accompanying Video tutorial on Strathmore’s website. It would make a great gift combined with a set of drawing pencils for the budding young artist or the coloring book enthusiast who wants to try drawing.”

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Strathmore Learning Series

Quality Art Paper + Superior Instruction = Strathmore’s Learning Series
This innovative line of pads brings you art lessons from the most popular instructors. Each pad includes step-by-step instructions on quality Strathmore paper. Pads also come with follow-along online video tutorials for an integrated learning experience. Paper is very good for pencil, colored pencil, charcoal and sketching stick.
The first 3 products in the Learning Series line feature instruction from Christopher Hart, the world’s bestselling author of how-to-draw books.
Pad Features:
-Pads are wire bound and acid free
-30 lessons per pad
-10 online video tutorials per pad
-8 blank pages for practice
Made in the USA

Click here to see all 3 pads in the Learning Series!


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Wet Paint Staff Pick of the Day: Stillman & Birn Alpha

We have such a wide and ever-expanding selection of journals/notebooks/pads at Wet Paint, we thought it would be fun to feature some of our staff favorites. Stay tuned to find out more about what we stock and maybe find a new favorite for yourself!

Today’s staff pick comes from Liz: Stillman & Birn Alpha Series

“Truth be told there’s hardly a sketchbook I don’t like!  It’s the allure of the sketches to come and stories each book will hold that pulls me to them all.  However, as an avid sketch-journaler there is one I always come back to that meets all my mixed media needs: Stillman & Birn’s Alpha Series books. My favorite is the 7×10 wire bound.  The paper holds up to my favorite Holbein watercolors and Platinum Carbon ink, and it works with the Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen brush markers for quick color applications.  And colored pencil and graphite glow on Alpha’s bright white surface!  This book also holds up to light gluing with a gluestick so all my trinkets and mementos can be included in the pages. With the variety of sizes and option of a hard spine, there’s one for everybody. I particularly love the 7×10 as it fits in my bag and provides enough room for my creativity.”

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Stillman & Birn Alpha Series:

Stillman & Birn stands out in the crowded sketchbook market, offering a unique collection of archival quality, premium sketchbooks designed to work with many different kinds of media. Only Stillman & Birn offers a sketchbook system, allowing the artist to choose the paper weight, shade and surface type to suit their specific techniques. All their papers have both internal and surface sizing, providing exceptional wet strength. All their papers are true art papers that withstand multiple erasures and are suitable for precision work.

The Alpha series features heavyweight 100lb./150gsm paper and it has a natural white vellum surface intended for all dry media and will accept light washes. It is available in both hardbound and wirebound formats.

Click here to see the entire Stillman & Birn line of sketchbooks!

 


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Wet Paint Staff Pick of the Day: Rhodia Pads

We have such a wide and ever-expanding selection of journals/notebooks/pads at Wet Paint, we thought it would be fun to feature some of our staff favorites. Stay tuned to find out more about what we stock and maybe find a new favorite for yourself!

Today’s staff pick comes from Kate: Rhodia Pads

“Having the right tools when learning a new skill is essential to maintain engagement and mitigate frustration. When I started learning calligraphy, I was constantly trying new papers to practice on and eventually fell in love with Rhodia for its performance as an economical and wonderfully smooth paper for pens. Rhodia makes grid, lined, blank and dot grid pads and books in so many sizes and formats it is hard to pick just one. For calligraphy practice I use the grid, but keep blank ones nearby for freehand design work and dot pads for geometric doodling. Whether using metal nib or fiber tip pens, the reliable surface that Rhodia provides is joy to have at hand.”

Rhodia Pads

The French notebooks with a cult following! Rhodia is known for high quality, exacting standards and timeless design. These economical pads are a favorite of artists & designers, writers, notebook fans and people who like to use graph paper for notes, sketching and hand drafting. People love them for their smooth paper & iconic cover- the classic orange has been around since 1934! Today, they have expanded their selection to include blank, lined, and dot paper and are available in a variety of formats, colors, and styles.  Click here to see our selection of Rhodia Pads!


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Wet Paint Staff Pick of the Day: Decomposition Books

We have such a wide and ever-expanding selection of journals/notebooks/pads at Wet Paint, we thought it would be fun to feature some of our staff favorites. Stay tuned to find out more about what we stock and maybe find a new favorite for yourself!

Today’s staff pick comes from Tina: Michael Roger Press Decomposition Books

“These are built like the composition notebooks you’re used to buying for school, but the ruled pages in these journals are made with 100% post-consumer waste, and the variety of interesting cover designs are printed with soy inks which contain fewer volatile organic compounds than the usual petroleum-based inks. These notebooks are great for journaling and note taking on any and all subjects, and though they are either ruled or gridded, they are fun for sketching, too.”

Michael Roger Press Decomposition Books

This line features clever cover designs and a number of eco-friendly attributes, including: 100% post-consumer-waste recycled pages; and soy ink printing, which contains fewer VOCs (volatile organic compounds) than regular, petroleum-based ink and is also easier to recycle. Includes 80 Sheets (160 Pages) of college-ruled paper. Made in USA

Click here to see all the options!  Plus, for Earth Day, we have them all 20% off now thru 4/24/16!


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Wet Paint Staff Pick of the Day: Fabriano Ecoqua

We have such a wide and ever-expanding selection of journals/notebooks/pads at Wet Paint, we thought it would be fun to feature some of our staff favorites. Stay tuned to find out more about what we stock and maybe find a new favorite for yourself!

Today’s staff pick comes from the owner of Wet Paint, Beth: Fabriano Ecoqua Pocket Journal

“I have found small notebooks to be life savers.  I keep one with all my computer cheat sheets.  I keep another that are just my ongoing “to do” list and “follow up” lists.  These little notebooks fit into a hip pocket easily.  When I want to remember something, I just write it down rather than trying to keep a running list in my head.  It is part of my mindfulness training, less multi-tasking, more thoughtfulness of just doing one thing.  The little books are tactile and its way more interesting to use a nice pen or pencil than type into a phone.”

Fabriano Ecoqua Pocket Journal

These sweet little 3.5″ x 5.5″ minimalist notebooks – grouped economically in 4 packs of warm or cool colored covers – are convenient go-to journals that you’ll want to stash in every bag. EcoQua pads are perfect for writing and drafting with pencil, ballpoint pens, fountain pens, and marker pens. Made in Italy of Environmentally-friendly, FSC certified paper that’s Chlorine-free, acid-free, and completely recyclable. Choose from blank or dotted paper. Click here to see our selection of Ecoqua!

 


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Wet Paint Staff Pick of the Day: Kunst & Papier Binder Sketchbook

We have such a wide and ever-expanding selection of journals/notebooks/pads at Wet Paint, we thought it would be fun to feature some of our staff favorites. Stay tuned to find out more about what we stock and maybe find a new favorite for yourself!

Today’s staff pick of the day comes from Paul: Kunst & Papier Binder Sketchbook

“My favorite sketchbook is the Kunst & Papier Binder Sketchbook.  The paper is perfect for my pencil sketching and will take light washes of watercolor.  Also it lays flat so I can draw across the seam.”

Kunst & Papier Binder Sketchbook

The sewn and gauze-spliced bindings of the K&P make for a strong and durable sketchbook. This unique binding method allows the books to open flat and beyond without damage to the binding. The heavyweight acid-free paper is an excellent support for all dry media and is suitable for water-based markers and light washes. It is also pH buffered lignin and chlorine-free.

On the outside, gray binders board covers are bound with linen spines. These distinctive spines are available in five different colors.  The books themselves are available in a variety of popular sizes.

Click here to see all the styles in this line of sketchbooks!


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Wet Paint Staff Pick of the Day: Holbein Croquis Memo Pad

We have such a wide and ever-expanding selection of journals/notebooks/pads at Wet Paint, we thought it would be fun to feature some of our staff favorites. Stay tuned to find out more about what we stock and maybe find a new favorite for yourself!

Today’s staff pick comes from Verra: NEW Holbein Croquis Memo Pads

“Everybody needs to have a Croquis Memo Pad in their pad collection.  My personal favorite cover has the man in the ‘Gesso Hot Tub.’  The paper in this pad would be a lovely choice for pen and ink- the surface is very smooth allowing for ink to glide endlessly.”

Holbein Croquis Pads & Books

The creative and unique theme designs make the Croquis Book and Pad line from Holbein a new favorite. Each pad includes 70 sheets of natural white 60g drawing paper that is neutral pH. With cover illustrations and designs by well-known Japanese artists, plus the economical price, these are sure to stand out when choosing your next pad.

Click here to see the entire line of Croquis Pads & Books!


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Wet Paint Staff Pick of the Day: Prat Flexbook Sketchbook

We have such a wide and ever-expanding selection of journals/notebooks/pads at Wet Paint, we thought it would be fun to feature some of our staff favorites. Stay tuned to find out more about what we stock and maybe find a new favorite for yourself!

Today’s staff pick comes from Anna: Prat Flexbook Sketchbook

“I’ve been using the Prat flexbook sketchbook for daily drawings for my blog and I love it! The smooth heavyweight paper is ideal for pens and markers and I can easily erase pencil marks from the page. It’s not called a flexbook for nothing! The binding is incredibly flexible, making my drawings easy to scan.”

Check out Anna’s blog “Sketchy Attire” here!

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Prat Flexbook Sketchbook

Deluxe European notebook with a patented 360° binding.
-Cover: Fedrigoni Savile Row Tweed uncoated board with a fabric texture (cotton, FSC certified, chlorine-free, free of heavy metals, neutral pH)
-Inside: Munken Special white paper, 170 gms (FSC certified, PEFC, chlorine-free, acid-free, free of heavy metals, biodegradable and recyclable)
-80 blank pages
-Black inside cover and fly leaf
-Each book is subject to individual quality control
-Made in Greece with care and sustainable practices

Click here to shop the sizes and colors!