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Artists' Materials & Framing in St. Paul, MN


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Top 18 Art Supplies of 2018

As 2018 comes to a close, we thought it would be fun to look back on some of our favorites of the year. Not all of these were new products this year, but nearly all of them were new to Wet Paint. Read on to see what made our list!

1.Schmincke Horadam Gouache 10 Tube Set

2. Liquitex Acrylic Gouache

We’ve always been a fan of gouache paint, but there seemed to be a new excitement around it this past year. Gouache (pronounced like “ɡwäSH”) is the fancy name for opaque watercolor paint. Wet Paint stocks Schmincke gouache in open stock, but the 10 color tube set is a great introduction to the traditional paint. New in 2018, Liquitex Acrylic Gouache has the opaque, matte finish of classic gouache with the water permanence of acrylic. Both are worth checking out!

3. Schmincke Horadam 24 1/2 Pan Watercolor Set

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Schmincke Horadam 1/2 Pan Set of 24

2018 was another big year for ½ pan watercolors at Wet Paint.  The Schmincke custom set we partnered with Jennifer McLean on has sold out, but we still have limited quantities of the 24 ½ pan set, as well as options from QOR, Daniel Smith, Yarka, and more!

4. Super 5 Fountain Pens and Fountain Pen ink

5. Pilot Iroshizuku Fountain Pen Ink

Handwriting is also making a comeback! And what better to get on-trend than with than a new refillable fountain pen?!? Wet Paint stocks all of your favorite brands of pens (and inks, too, to personalize your penmanship). A few of our favorites: everyone on staff owns a Super 5 fountain pen…durable construction and free flowing ink make it a dependable choice for everyday writing; we have been charmed by the beautiful Pilot Iroshizuku inks…lovely selection of colors in gorgeous glass bottles!

6. Cigar Boxes

7. Xiem Art Bag

Storage and transportation of art supplies can sometimes be a nuisance when many items are odd sizes or easily damaged. But then came the Xiem Art Bag with its many pockets, wooden handle, reinforced bottom and 25 lbs carrying capacity! Swoon! We also love the classic, and always useful, cigar boxes- not new this year, but still a fave.

8. Sienna Plein Air 

9. New Wave u.go 

10. Etchr Bags

2018 was also the year for new & different plein air painting supplies- specifically rethinking the classic french easel or pochade box. Whether it was upgrading to something sleeker and easier to carry (u.go), separating the support from the box (Sienna), or using the supply bag as the easel itself (Etchr), this was a great year for finding new ways to get out and paint!

11. Leuchtturm 1917 

12. Koala Tools Gridded Notebooks

So many dots it’s like we’re contagious!  Unlike the measles, though, dot grid notebooks are showing no signs of being wiped out…and we like it that way!

13. Golden Acrylic – New 2018 Colors

Golden Artist Acrylic Paint is not new, but Golden did come out with some beautiful new colors for 2018. Plus, they’ve just revamped their online color mixer, which is a great resource for finding that perfect color or matching a color from an image!

14. POSCA Acrylic Paint Markers

The paint markers that everybody had been asking for finally arrived at Wet Paint in 2018…and they’ve been a huge hit.  Lots of sizes, lots of colors and suitable for almost any surface…let’s go write on stuff!

15. DaVinci Casaneo Travel Brushes

Quite possibly the most beloved watercolor brush at Wet Paint since Silver’s Black Velvet…and the Casaneo is all synthetic.  If you didn’t try it in 2018, you’d better make a resolution for 2019!

16. Gamblin Custom Oil Paint Knew Black 

We partnered with our pals at Pygmalion’s Art Supplies in Bloomington, Indiana and Gamblin Artist’s Oil Colors in Portland, Oregon to bring local artist, Ta-Coumba Aiken’s, custom oil color, Knew Black, to life. Read all about it here.

17. Stillman & Birn Nova Toned Sketchbooks

Featuring double-sized, 150gsm toned paper in either beige, black or gray Nova Series sketchbooks are the perfect “go to” for mixed media applications. Can’t decide which tone is right for you?  The new Nova Trio has all three of ‘em in one book!  (And, the answer is: they’re all right for you!).

18. Caran d’ Ache Technalo RGB Tinted Water-soluble Graphite

Super subtle hint of color in brand new pencils or sticks…barely red, barely green and barely blue never looked so good!

It’s been fun reminiscing about all of our favorite creative supplies from the past year…it’s making us excited to see what 2019 will bring!  What made the top of your list for 2018?

Happy New Year, everybody!


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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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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.”

AlphasNEW

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: Stillman & Birn Zeta 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 Meg: Stillman & Birn Zeta Sketchbook

“My go-to sketchbook is the Zeta by Stillman & Birn.  The extra-heavy weight, smooth finish paper takes exquisite ink work detail and holds up to extensive watercolor and other wet media.  The range of sizes in both spiral and hard bound provide options for everyone. A true mixed-media marvel!”

 

zetanewcovers

Stillman & Birn Zeta Sketchbooks:

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 Zeta series features heavyweight 180lb (270 gsm) smooth white paper
suitable for dry and wet media, watercolor, and ink.

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


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Why Wet Paint Stocks Stillman & Birn Sketchbooks

justinswededelta

Justin Terlecki pen on Delta

Back in the 1970s, if you were a serious art student, it was standard to carry a black bound sketchbook just like your professor. Besides being the repository of your sketches and notes, the binding gave you the sense of this being a permanent record, a uniform format that would be the historic record of the studies for your artwork. As this tradition continued through the decades, the black sketchbook began to evolve. Some artists didn’t like the roll of the page caused by the binding, so paper manufacturers started providing the field sketchbook: the same hard black leatherette cover but with spiral binding. Others introduced micro-perforated sheets that could be torn out discreetly. In doing so, the original intent of the bound book changed over time. The book could now be easily edited; pages torn out and discarded instead of kept archived in place and in sequence.

Liz Carlson; watermedia on Epsilon

Liz Carlson; watermedia on Epsilon

By the beginning of the 21st century, the popularity of the black sketchbook made it quite a commodity item for the pad makers. Unfortunately, in order to compete with each other, this meant that many black sketchbooks began to come out of Asia with lower and lower prices and with paper of the quality of a cocktail napkin. This devolution of the quality of the black bound sketchbook only took into consideration that all art students and most artists wanted this product. They had lost track of the purpose of the book … They ignored the fact that paper quality could affect the drawings made on their pages. They totally missed the trend of artists working in mixed media which requires heavier and better paper. They didn’t notice the growing movement of sketching as an art form where the final work is kept within the sketchbook itself. And they lost sight of the vital role that the black sketchbook could play as a place to record ideas, document the creative process, and archive one’s development as an artist.

Wet Paint staff, Steve and Langhan, and the display of Stillman & Birn sketchbooks.

Wet Paint staff, Steve and Langhan, and the display of Stillman & Birn sketchbooks.

As an industry, art materials has been ripe for the return of a quality black bound sketchbook and in 2011, Stillman & Birn did just that. Michael Kalman and Oscar Hernandez are the founders of Stillman & Birn. Michael is the nephew of the original manufacturer of the first black bound sketchbook in 1958. Michael and Oscar believe that artists need sketchbooks that are the same caliber as any of their other art materials. Stillman & Birn understands that all artists don’t work alike and need papers with different surface qualities, different weights, different levels of whiteness, and of course, different sizes and different bindings. They have listened to artists and worked to provide them with a line of bound sketchbooks that is as diverse as their needs. Stillman & Birn has sourced the finest quality papers from Europe and then bound them under the strictest quality control in the United States. They’ve mastered the challenge of featuring heavier papers in bound books in addition to spirals, and, most remarkable of all, their bindings will actually allow the pages to lie flat and satisfy the sketcher who wants to work across 2 pages.

Stillman & Birn is a supplier that truly wants to provide artists with the best possible product they can afford and Wet Paint has worked closely with them in the improving of their product and the development of new items. Their commitment to the artist shows not just in the sketchbooks themselves, but in the amount of information that is provided on each book.

Justin Terlecki; pen on Alpha

Justin Terlecki; pen on Alpha

Wet Paint has stocked the Stillman & Birn books since their first manufacture run. The Wet Paint staff personally endorses this line. Justin Terlecki only uses Stillman & Birn sketchbooks now and says, “The Alpha and Beta have wonderful paper in them that is suitable for fountain pen sketching. The paper takes the ink beautifully and produces nice clean lines that don’t feather. The paper is also heavy enough that your drawings do not bleed on the other side. When you hold one of these books in your hand, you can tell that they are no ordinary sketchbook.” They are Liz Carlson’s go-to sketchbooks too. She uses the Alpha series because “the bright white tone of the paper is perfect to show off color media.”

Liz Carlson; watermedia on Alpha

Liz Carlson; watermedia on Alpha

Last month Stillman & Birn began shipping their new “Zeta Series” sketchbook to meet the demands of artists wanting a 180# heavy weight, natural white, smooth surface in both hardbound and wirebound books. And in June 2013, Wet Paint will have 22×30” individual sheets for each of the 6 papers featured in Stillman & Birn’s sketchbooks. This enables the artist to move from their sketchbook to a larger format without having to adapt to different surface qualities. Later in the year, we will have sampler sketchbooks which will include pages of all 6 papers so people can experiment will all the surfaces in the series.

Visit Wet Paint in person or online to see the entire line of Stillman & Birn sketchbooks. And visit the Stillman & Birn blog to see more examples of what artists are doing in their books.