Community Enthusiast News & Media Professionals This just in! New products we are excited about

Wet Paint Holiday Exclusives

We work with artists and vendors around the world to come up with unique products and sets that aren’t available anyplace else…we have fun finding cool stuff and we often come up with some amazing deals! Here are the exclusives from our current holiday catalog:

YHTB3SETHolbein Acryla Gouache Custom Set Eighteen 22ml colors hand chosen by your friends at Wet Paint, packed into a limited edition collector’s tin featuring the drawings of artist Yuko Higuchi. $110.95 (MSRP $185.00)

Natural Pigments Ceracolor Custom Set Eight 50ml tubes of this unique, wax based, water-soluble paint. Includes three 5×7” Ampersand Claybords. $89.95 (MSRP $123.81)

Bee Paper Big Bee Custom Box One each of four 9×9” spiral bound books, each with different paper types. Packaged in a Bee emblazoned box, ready for gifting.  $31.95 (MSRP $63.80)

PEGGYThe Ultimate Brush Lettering Kit Everything you need to learn the art of hand lettering, chosen by our friend, Portland’s Peggy Dean. $44.95 (MSRP $64.75)

Natural Pigments Rublev Oil Custom Set Six 50ml tubes of professional grade oil paint formulated from historic pigments and without additives. Also includes a 50ml tube of Velazquez Medium and an 8×10” oil primed linen Artefex Panel. $145.95 (MSRP $179.84)

Marty Owings Custom Set Blogger & buddy, Marty Owings, developed this sketching set exclusively for Wet Paint…Hahnemühle and Stillman & Birn pads, Faber Castell and Derwent colored pencils, plus a sharpener and an eraser in an excellent zippered case! $39.95 (MSRP $56.22) PLEASE NOTE: Due to unexpected demand, we are out of stock on this item. Please reserve yours now for when we have more available. ETA TBD. 

Sally Jo Power Marbled Paper Grab Bags Hand marbled in Minnesota & only available at Wet Paint. Each bag contains over 15 uniquely sized sheets. $15.00

344747WPLeuchtturm Medium Dot Custom Journal Beautiful blue cover features a distinctive, limited edition embossing that makes a subtle nod to your favorite artists’ supply store! $19.95

Schmincke Horadam 2017 “New 12” ½ Pan Tin A twelve color “split primary plus” palette chosen from the 35 new colors introduced for Schmincke’s 125th Anniversary in 2017. The tin has room for eighteen ½ pans, so room for six more of your favorites. Indispensable for the painter, sketcher, architect or designer. $69.95 ($225.00 MSRP) PLEASE NOTE: We have our second batch of these sets arriving in late November. Please reserve yours now for when we have more available.

Angelus Shoe & Leather Custom Set Customize your kicks and jazz up your jacket…this exclusive set has everything you need to get started! $28.95 ($31.14 MSRP)

WP003Richeson Oils Split Primary Custom Set Only at Wet Paint! Featuring warm & cool primaries, plus a free white, this set is ideal for the beginner that wants to learn with professional-grade oil paint. $59.95 (MSRP $121.30)

Tara Fredrix 150th Anniversary Canvas Celebrate this 2018 milestone early with this 16×20” pre-stretched gallery canvas at an amazing price! $7.99 ($39.00 MSRP)

Princeton Watercolor 5 Brush Custom Set A curated selection of the best Princeton has to offer, including a 1 ½” mottler, ¾” oval & 3/8” dagger striper from the Neptune range (the “thirsty” faux squirrel filament is amazing), a #10 “long round” Velvetouch (unique shape, great feel), and a #6 round Kolinsky Sable Siberia, one of the finest watercolor brushes available. $89.95 ($168.70 MSRP)

PROCOMBOAlvin Professional Table Combo Stand or sit at this collapsible drafting table that’s so durable it has a lifetime guarantee. This is the table that Scott bought in college and he still uses it today! Comes with an extremely rugged, adjustable utility stool and a clamp-on LED lamp. $449.99 ($720.99 MSRP)



This just in! New products we are excited about

Want to know about our next Schmincke Watercolor Set?

We are working with Schmincke to develop the next new custom set, expected stateside in October 2017. This palette of colors is a split primary set selected from the new colors that Schmincke released earlier this year. All colors are single-pigment with good or better lightfastness.

It will be in a squarish tin (for 18 half pans) loaded with these 12 new colors:

74774097^2AQ344 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

Click here to pre-order the New 2017 Custom Schmincke Set!

Community Enthusiast Professionals This just in! New products we are excited about

In the store this week: a list of orders that have arrived at Wet Paint

Waiting on a special item that we ordered for you? Or just like to know when we get in your favorite brand of ink?  Here is a list that we will update weekly to keep you in-the-know!

Looking for a specific item? Call the store 651-698-6431

Week of March 28th:

Decomposition Sketch Books -Coilbound (new style) and Tape Bound (We’ve had a few tape bound books before)
7.5” X 9.75” & 4” X 6” (in limited styles) Now in several new cover designs! These books are made with 100% PCW recycled pages and are printed with soy ink. The coilbound book features micro-perforated pages.

New Custom Schmincke Watercolor Set #74745097

New Croquis Books and Pads from Holbein –Darin’s pick fave new sketchbooks
Spiral bound neutral pH Paper, Featuring some dapper drawings of animals, nature, and even a gesso hot tub!

Custom Sketch books from Global- Artwork by LMNOP Art

Shinola Journals- Both hard bound linen, soft bound linen, and paperback books of varying sizes and colors, consisting of pages of 60lb paper and an expandable pocket.

More new things from Global:New colors of the Pastel Premier* paper in both 26×20 sheets and 9×12 pochettes. This is a sanded pastel paper, double primed 145 lb sheet; now available in Terracotta, Buff, and Slate. Drawing 160 Pads Ideal for all dry media, pen and ink, and light washes. 100lb paper and 24 sheets per pad.

*Great replacement for Wallis Pastel Paper!

Week of Sept. 14th:

-Handbook Journals

-Rives BFK

-Wax Seals

-Logan Mat Cutters


Week of Sept. 7th:

-Japanese Nibs

-Platinum Carbon Pen

-Noodler’s Ink (select colors)

-R&F Encaustic and Pigment Sticks

-Coloring Books for Adults from Clairefontaine

-Prat Flexbooks

Professionals Students This just in! New products we are excited about

Why Wet Paint Stocks Holbein Acrylics

“If I could say it in words there would be no reason to paint.” Edward Hopper

This quote from painter Edward Hopper encapsulates the ongoing dilemma of describing your paintings with words. No matter what you say about your subject matter, your colors, the texture of your paint, you come up short. Talking about the paint itself is a little easier but tends to draw upon descriptors that may sound foreign to the untrained painter. There are artists who view paint as mere pigment to extend with water and get some color on their image. Then there are painters who can sense the difference in paint lines, from the way it comes out of the tube, to how it grabs onto a brush and then how it releases onto the canvas. And how colors mix varies from one manufacturer to another, how much elbow grease it takes to blend yellow and red into orange.

HAU_romance7When companies come to Wet Paint and offer a new acrylic line, we shuffle and make excuses like we don’t have the space. What it really comes down to there often isn’t that much difference from one brand to another. So along comes Holbein, a favorite manufacturer partner of Wet Paint’s with a newly formulated line of acrylics. We were very pleased to find out that they have developed a line of color that is not a “me too” replicant of the category leader. The Holbein Heavy Body Artist Acrylic has some unique properties to claim a position of their own.

Virginia trying out the new Holbein Acrylics
Virginia trying out the new Holbein Acrylics

Greg Graham, painter and Wet Paint Floor Manager, got the opportunity to play with these new acrylics. He felt the paint’s consistency is softer, even silky, under the brush, but not slippery, compared to other acrylic lines. “It reminds me of Lascaux which, unfortunately, is out of many acrylic painters’ price range.” It feels a little more like oil paint and does seem to have a longer working time. It didn’t tack up as quickly as many of the other acrylics. If you like to paint directly from the tube rather than using additives, gels and mediums, the Holbein acrylic has a great feel under the brush. Virginia McBride, another Wet Paint staffer who is more of a drawer than a painter, found the silkiness when mixing colors very enticing.

The new Holbein Acrylic
The new Holbein Acrylic

Holbein is offering a range of 113 colors in acrylics. Their color selection contains many pigments you find in their oils and watercolors. Manufactured in Japan, the Holbein palette not only contains traditional Western palettes from the Renaissance through the Impressionists to the Moderns but includes colors friendlier to an Asian esthetic. Some favorites from other mediums that are unique to Holbein are their classic mixed colors like the Compose Blue series and the Luminous colors of Violet, Rose and Opera. Like their oil paint, Holbein’s acrylics have a consistent body and sheen from one color to another.

The new Holbein Heavy Body Artist Acrylic is a painter’s paint. We are happy to add this color line to our selection at Wet Paint. This fall is a great time to try them out. They are on sale and there is a free tube of Titanium White with a purchase of 5 tubes of color.

Every day is a good day when you paint.

Professionals Students This just in! New products we are excited about

Why Wet Paint stocks Masterpiece Canvas

Display of Masterpiece canvas in Wet Paint
Display of Masterpiece canvas in Wet Paint

I have had about 50 years personal experience with canvas as a painting support. The first 20 as a painter, the next 30 mostly as an art supply retailer. Some of the historic canvas prep techniques I learned in school aren’t taught anymore and many of the materials used aren’t readily available. There are a number of reasons for these changes. First, many painters want to spend their time creating rather than preparing. Second, many don’t have the access to tools and space for stretcher building and canvas stretching. Third, pre-made stretched canvases are now available at a much higher quality.

Wet Paint staffer, Meg Nelson, holding one of the small size canvases
Wet Paint staffer, Meg, holding one of the small 6×8″ size canvases

Since 1965, Masterpiece Artist Canvas has been improving their stretched canvases to earn their reputation for professional quality today. Artists used to build their own stretched canvases so they had control over the end results. Masterpiece has built into their everyday production the features that artists could not find in “ready-mades” 20 years ago. They offer 3 profiles of bars, all of which keep the canvas surface away from the wood so it doesn’t show through one’s paintings. All the stapling is done on the back so the edges are smooth to be painted or for ease of framing. Corners of the canvas are folded and not cut so the painting can be taken off the stretchers, rolled, shipped and easily re-stretched. They also automatically add cross braces to canvases 24” and larger to keep the wood from twisting and surface from warping. Masterpiece’s stretched canvas range includes 10 different canvas surfaces to give the artist the right ground, weight & texture for their medium and technique. And they offer 130 sizes from 4×4 to 72×96. All in all, that means that artists now have access to over 3000 different stretched canvas options.

Wet Paint staffers, Chris and Justin, holding a giant 48x72" stretched canvas
Wet Paint staffers, Chris and Justin, holding a giant 48×72″ stretched canvas

Masterpiece is also the only company I know that is obsessed enough about stretched canvas to offer artists dimensions that employ the golden ratio. The golden ratio (or, as in the case of canvas, the golden rectangle) has been used in art and architecture throughout history (DaVinci, Dali and others) to achieve what is believed to be the most pleasing proportions to the human eye. So you may want to try an 18×29 rather than an 18×24 canvas and see if it makes your painting more pleasant. Of course, now that you no longer have to spend your time stretching your own canvas, you have time to paint both an 18×29 and an 18×24 to compare the two.

I know somebody out there is tsk tsk-ing that many artists don’t prep their own surfaces, but there’s a lot to be said for pre-stretched options. Come in and we can talk about how much fun it used to be to prepare rabbit skin glue and apply white lead with a painting knife. Come in and I will to tell you about the 6 canvases I stretched during a tornado (they always had a life of their own.) The bottom line is, most artists stretched their own canvases because it use to be the only way to get the size and surface that they needed. We have a lot more options these days thanks to Masterpiece Canvas and that gives us lots more time to just be painting.  Until July 3rd, all Masterpiece Canvases are 50% off MSRP!

Professionals Students This just in! New products we are excited about

The Story of the Schmincke Half-Pan Set

Schmincke set color comparison: old set colors on left, new set colors on right
Schmincke set color comparison: old set colors on left, new set colors on right

Editor’s note: Since 2013 we’ve done a series of custom sets and the current can be found here.

If you have shopped at Wet Paint in Saint Paul during the past 25 years, you know Darin Rinne, our General Manager.  And you know Darin loves to tell a story.  And I’d bet he’d tell you his favorite story is about the Schmincke Half-pan Watercolor Set.  About 10 years ago, the U.S.  importer of Schmincke color offered Wet Paint a deal on their 12 color half-pan set.  We could give our customers a professional grade watercolor in a metal box at a comparable price to the competitor’s student grade in plastic.  The only hitch, we had to purchase 100 sets.  At the time, it was a big investment for Wet Paint, but we went for it anyway.  The set was such a success; we ordered the set 3 times.  Each time, the tin was a slightly different model. The fourth time around, no more were available.

The story continues and now Schmincke has a new importer in the U.S. but no watercolor set we felt met the criteria for our customers. Marcus from Schmincke in Germany came to visit us in 2011 and asked how he could improve their relationship with Wet Paint.     Darin and Greg Graham, our Floor Manager, worked with Marcus to put together a selection of warm and cool colors of their choosing which would be affordable and still a workable palette.  They found an appropriate tin with space to fit another 6 colors for expansion.  We worked with other independent art supply stores to meet the manufacturer’s custom run commitment. The set was so well received by our customers, that we needed to order more custom runs.  And we worked again with Marcus to develop a Schmincke Gouache set to complement the watercolors with a palette selected by our friend Roz Stendahl.

As we started seeing the end of our inventory, Schmincke informed us our tin was no longer available. Being such a successful program, Marcus and Darin worked up a 2013 edition which just got shipped to Wet Paint last week.

Liz Carlson holding the 2013 set and her color chart
Liz Carlson holding the 2013 set and her color chart

Liz Carlson, urban sketcher and Wet Paint sales associate, got into the act by creating a new palette of colors for the new edition.  The colors in the 2013 set are more transparent than the original selection.  It is a stand-alone palette of colors but has no duplication from the original selection.  The new tin is a longer box that has enough room to hold a standard length brush (or a pen) or 2 travel brushes.  And it comes with 12 empty half-pans.  So a painter could include the colors from their studio palette, include the colors from the original Schmincke Half-Pan Set or expand their palette in a completely unique way.

The new 2013 Schmincke Half-pan Watercolor Set!
The new 2013 Schmincke Half-pan Watercolor Set!

Kate Katzer, Wet Paint’s framer and web sales associate, is very excited, almost giddy in fact, about the new Schmincke Half-Pan Set’s arrival.  She has a number of web customers disappointed they missed the original set.  She likes the fact that the palette of colors is chosen by a working artist rather than a marketing department.  Liz Carlson’s color selection is appropriate for the plein air painter, the sketcher, landscape painter or portrait artist.  The colors are for warm weather, vibrant and fresh. There is a story behind each color selection.  For example, Liz picked Mountain Blue because “it isn’t as bossy as Ultramarine.”  She likes Cobalt Turquoise and Transparent Orange because they mix well to make great middle tones.

Wet Paint is pleased to offer our customers the 2013 edition of the Schmincke Half-Pan Watercolor Set.  Schmincke makes the best half-pan watercolors on the market.  We have made a unique color selection you won’t find anywhere else.   This set is priced ridiculously well.  And the box wraps it all up as a beautiful object in itself.  This is a watercolor set for those with great taste and an understanding of value & quality.  We have worked hard to bring you a unique, professional grade product at a very affordable price.  Visit our website to purchase and see the entire list of colors in this set!

Professionals Students This just in! New products we are excited about

Why Wet Paint Stocks Stillman & Birn Sketchbooks

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.