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About my E-books

E-Book: Learning the Basics in Watercolor

E-Book: Painting on Watercolor Canvas

E-Book: Painting Flowers in Watercolor

YOUTUBE VIDEOS

Paintings and Prints of:

Acrylic Paintings

Alaska

Animals

Cape Cod

ChagrinFalls

Chautauqua

Florals/Still Lifes

France

Greece/ Turkey

Hawaii

Hilton Head

Kiawah

Lakeside

Monet's Garden

Montages

Naples, FL

Niagara on the Lake

Pensacola Beach

Provence

Rural Landscapes

Sanibel

San Miguel MX

Sea,Boats,Sunsets

Sparrow Village/
South Africa

Steamboat Springs, CO

Trinidad

Tuscany

Venice, Italy

Watercolor onCanvas
•••••••••••••••••••••••
LESSONS IN WATERCOLOR
All about Watercolor Paper

on R-tistx Board & Claybord®

How to Paint Crystal and Lace

Painting with Color!

How to Paint Clouds

How to Paint Water Reflections
•••••••••••••••••••••••

Page of Links

HOME

Biography

WORKSHOPS & TRAVEL

About my E-books

E-Book: Learning the Basics in Watercolor

E-Book: Painting on Watercolor Canvas

E-Book: Painting Flowers in Watercolor

YOUTUBE VIDEOS

Paintings and Prints of:

Acrylic Paintings

Alaska

Animals

Cape Cod

ChagrinFalls

Chautauqua

Florals/Still Lifes

France

Greece/ Turkey

Hawaii

Hilton Head

Kiawah

Lakeside

Monet's Garden

Montages

Naples, FL

Niagara on the Lake

Notecards

Provence

Rural Landscapes

Sanibel

San Miguel MX

Sea,Boats,Sunsets

Sparrow Village/
South Africa

Steamboat Springs, CO

Trinidad

Tuscany

Venice, Italy

Watercolor onCanvas
•••••••••••••••••••••••
LESSONS IN WATERCOLOR
All about Watercolor Paper

on R-tistx Board & Claybord®

How to Paint Crystal and Lace

Painting with Color!

How to Paint Clouds

How to Paint Water Reflections
•••••••••••••••••••••••

Page of Links




Alternative Surfaces/R-tist-x Board/Claybord®

I have found that companies are now manufacturing surfaces that enhance watercolor and accept that it is a water-based medium that has always been painted on paper. In other pages on this site, I discuss Fredrix Watercolor Canvas and its ability to allow artists to make changes which elude them on most papers. I wrote an e-book about the watercolor canvas.

My other favorite surface is Rtistx Board (pronounced "Artistix"). Believe it or not, it is PVC with an embedded granular surface that accepts watercolor and helps to create smooth glowing washes. Of course these surfaces must be sprayed with a fixative if intended to be framed without glazing. Below are some of the images that I have created on this surface. I am not sure that it is being made anymore because the man who invented it has passed away. They still have their website up, but it is not active. Though, I believe there is a phone # to call.


Clowning Around the Reef
18" x 24"
prints on paper or canvas available on FINEART AMERICA

http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/maryann-boysen.html

Clowning Underwater scene 1

This is many layers of color to resemble the flowing corals of the fish tank. I must have stood for an hour just watching these fish and taking many photos so that I could place them just where I wanted them in the painting. The Rristx Board allows the colors to mingle without having to paint every stroke.

So Where are the Fish?
18" x 20"

underwater scene 2

This is my daughter-in-law on her first snorkeling trip. The water was too murky and we didn't see many fish. I had always wanted to paint a person underwater and this was my chance. The Rtistx Board allows a person to paint brilliant colors on the dried surface. I always start the paintings with a few pale but colorful washes just to tint the paper. After drying I added the blues and browns, but left the light, warm colors to be the complement to give the painting a punch.


Craighead Barn 5" x 10"

barn

Painted without drawing, I was able to allow the paint to flow easily. Colors on the Rtistx board mingle together without effort.

Repose 12" x 16"

I noticed this lady at the 18th hole of the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island. What a peaceful feeling I experienced, and just knew that I had to paint this scene. The warm and cool washes of the sky are always applied first. The Rtistx Board must totally dry before you can add the stronger colors. And I mean "really dry!" or they will bleed into the first washes. I do believe that the granular surface holds onto the moisture as it creeps between the grains. Sometimes I have to wait until the next day to begin the serious part of the painting.


War - Triumph and Tragedy
18" x 24"

This is a painting of the War Memorial in the center of Downtown Cleveland. Each side of the memorial depicts one of the wars that our country has been a part of. It has recently been restored and the interior of the memorial is a museum dedicated to these wars. Painting it was a challenge. First was the smooth washes that I needed in the sky so as not to conflict with the textures of the monument. R-tistx Board allows the paint colors to flow together to create a glow that is uninterrupted by hard edges or noticeable changes of color. After that was dry, I drew the images loosely (since I usually paint without drawing). I needed some certain shapes for this, so drawing was important. The stonework was done with a brush without drawing. This allows me to be a bit freer with the paint.

River Road Barn
8" x 10"


This little gem won first place in a Cleveland show and sold immediately. The light was so brilliant against the shadows in the background and the ones cast by the trees that my eye was drawn to take the photo.

As always, I begin with the light washes of gold, pink and blue which give a glow to the surface. By the time the shadows are laid in, the surface looks white. A dark against a light makes the light look white. But this light has colored washes in it. After all, snow is NOT white, but a combination of the colors in the spectrum.


Portland Head Light
18" x 24"

You can see the smoothly blended colors in the sky in this painting. I emphasized the warm washes as the time was approaching sunset and the sky glowed with warmth. The warm colors are allowed to dry before I introduce the cool colors so the colors will not blend into a gray color. Once the warm colors are dry, I can re-wet the surface carefully with a very soft brush and lay in the blue. By the way, the warm and cool colors of these initial washes are carried throughout the entire painting. They do NOT stop at the horizon line. Water and the landscape reflect the colors in the sky so they need to be applied first.

Coastal Colors
16" x 20"

Another sunset scene along the west coast. Sunsets are always more dramatic when there are clouds in the sky. Once again I emphasized the warm colors. The drama is accentuated with the dark cliffs along the left side of the painting. I didn't even allow much light on the sand beach. You can see the red in the clouds is repeated in the water.

 


Café Rousillon Step-by-Step

The nice thing about Rtistx is that it is rigid, lightweight, cuts easily into any size you prefer, and it acts like watercolor paper in many aspects. and the washes are very smooth and velvet like. It has a tooth to it that grabs the color, but the surface is very smooth, and doesn't wear the brushes out. I am very impressed with its quality.

To begin this painting, I cut a 12” x 16” board down to 12” x 12” to accommodate the square that I needed (for an existing frame that I had in stock!) (another use of my artistic license!)

 

1.

•I prefer to paint without drawing, but this is a Paris scene, and I have time to do a simple drawing. When I am painting onsite, I don't usually have time to draw, but start with simple shapes with a brush to develop the painting. (This will be covered in another chapter ....titled Painting without drawing).

When I teach students, I usually do a quick sketch (without detail) as I do all the detail with a brush. Otherwise, it seems to me to be painting in a coloring book. I like the freedom to change my mind and not be bound by a detailed drawing and wondering how to rid the painting of all the pencil marks.

Because this is a rainy scene, I chose to do my three mood washes one right after the other while the pigment was wet, so that there is a nice colorful grey to the building.• My brush was a Squirrel brush made by Neef, that has a ferrule that is about 3/4” in diameter.

2.

I did not wet the entire page first, as I wanted the highlighted umbrellas to remain as light as possible. While applying the washes I painted around the umbrellas and the white knob on the traffic pole, as they would have the brightest light on them.

I also kept the page slanted to let the paint cascade to the bottom. This creates the look of the vertical rain rather than having horizontal strokes, which don’t appear to be rain at all! As the color pools at the bottom of the slanted page, I pick up the excess with a damp brush and allow the washes to dry before continuing.

•I tell my students that “detail comes at de-tail”, but in this case, I began with the focal point so as not to lose the highlights around the subject.

3.

Since this painting is only 12" x 12", I use a small 1/8" flat brush for drawing, and a very sharply pointed Silverado brush (synthetic) for small detail. As I begin to paint the windows above the awning, I take care in making the shadows colorful. I use as much of the local color of the building and interject pale washes of blue while the color is wet. This causes the shadows to glow instead of being a dead gray.

To finish some of the washes in the bottom  of the painting, I just grabbed my 1/2” flat (sable) and loaded it with color which I dragged in downward strokes on the sidewalk and the street…still trying to get the “wet” look.

4.

As washes dried, I restated the shadow areas to create more contrast against the figures in the foreground, then proceeded to strengthen the values in the upper part of the building. When I felt the values were correct, I added the wrought iron detail and suggested the brickwork on the façade.

This, as watercolors on paper, went rather quickly. Of course, any detail slows you down, but I tried not to make it too accurate or photographic. There was no need. There is enough detail to tell the story.

5. Café Rousillon, Paris


Here is another step by step painting, titled Brasserie Isle St. Louis, Paris, painted on Smooth Claybord®

As you can tell I love to paint when I travel and capture the memories of those places so dear to me.

Because smooth Claybord® is so difficult to paint on with watercolors, I did a sketch first so that I could maintain control of what I was doing! I also wanted to capture some of the waiters as they scurried about.

I began with my normal warm washes under the eaves and awnings of the building. Then, in order to establish the edge of the building, I loaded my brush with a thick mixture of green and carefully applied the color.

Here, I am adding texture to the greens. This is easy to do because the paint just slides around on the surface. Blotting is another way to create texture in this thick mixture of paint. I use dark blues and browns for the shaded areas, and add a bit of Quinacridone Gold for the lighter areas.

As you can see, I also painted beneath the distant umbrella to establish its shape.

Now was the time to add some punch with the red to show the local color of the awnings, with the wonderful plants in the window boxes above and to color the windows in varying shades.
Here, I am touching up the details on the overhang. Then I will get around to the details in the diners and waiters.
The awnings create dark shadows on a bright, sunny day, but I try to maintain some light in order to show the message board and the lights inside the doorway and on the side of the building. The diners and waiters are done very quickly with minimal detail to create the hustle and bustle of the noon hour. As you may notice, I did not wet the entire page with preliminary washes, and there is no way you can put wash over wash on this surface. It is so slick that the paint comes right up. Paint must be quite thick and heavy in order to control the details needed.

Café Rousillon, Paris 8" x 10"

Prints of this painting are available on FineArtAmerica.com


The paintings that I do on Rtistx and Claybord and Watercolor Canvas have a distinct advantage over those on paper, in that they need no framing. The ones on board can be set on an easel. The canvases with a gallery wrap finish can be hung without framing, as well as the Claybord® on the box as long as it is painted around the edge. The Rtistx, at this point, comes in the board form only, and small ones can be put on an easel.

All of these surfaces would need to be finished (fixed) with a watercolor varnish. There is a very good one made by GOLDEN. It comes in a spray as well as a liquid. Golden's Mineral Spirit Acrylic (MSA) Varnish with Ultraviolet Light Stabilizers (UVS) is a Mineral Spirit based acrylic resin system that can be applied to acrylic, oil, and alkyd painted surfaces. It is removable with mineral spirits after drying and can be used for interior or exterior use. It is available in gloss, matte, or satin finish.


Last Leaf
a transparent watercolor on a smooth Claybord® box.

Size: 8" x 10"

Great care had to be taken when painting all these palm fronds. But the easy way to attempt this is to paint the darks, then lift color. But, I went back and forth, adding and subtracting color with my chisel edged brush, using its side to make sharp shapes that come to a point.

This is the same painting turned so that you can see the side of the box.

Sundown on the Marsh at the Ocean Course, Kiawah Island, SC

Size: 6" x 24" on smooth surface

An unusual size always intrigues me, as these paintings fit on soffits, and above windows, and also can sit on shelves, as this Claybord® box is 2" thick, and the edges are painted to wrap the image around the box.

Les Oignons

Size: 5" x 7" on Aquabord®

The result on the textured surface is often a softer look, whereas the smooth surface works best when painting shiney objects because of the high contrast that can be accomplished. On this surface you can wet the entire surface and use preliminary washes for color....something you cannot do on the smooth Claybord®

Market Shoppers

Size: 8" x 10" on Aquabord®

This was begun just as any other painting that I do...with preliminary warm washes, before I tackle the contrasts and detail. This surface is just like painting on good watercolor paper. My students love it. Because of the rigid quality of the board, small paintings can be set on an easel without framing. Or you can use the "box" and paint around the edges to look like a wrapped canvas.


Send comments or questions about the artwork to art@maboysen.com
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