During our recent urban sketching visit to Bothell's Country Village, there were way too many scenes I wanted to draw and paint, so I snapped some photos to try painting from later at home. One was of a rock-lined stream with brick bridge:
While sketching it onto the watercolor paper, I used my all-powerful Artistic License to clean it up a bit -- removing the partial stone bench on the lower right, the clutter in the background, and the shrub on the left. Then I decided not to use my usual ink-and-watercolor technique. It's great for on-the-spot sketching, but I wanted to work with paint this time. With the ink technique, the focus is on the drawing, with just bits of color slapped in almost as an afterthought. I wanted to really use the watercolors to define the picture.
I started with dry-brush on the stream bed, and a bit of outlining on the bridge.
Next I used wet-in-wet to create a loose background.
Then I spent some time working on the bridge details. Detailed work always makes me very happy. I could get lost in it for hours. I used one of my smallest brushes with very little water added to the paint.
Then I worked on the rocks, which were done mostly wet-in-wet with a bit of dry-brush afterwards.
And finally the Japanese Maple, again a mix of wet and dry brush techniques, and I called it good. It's a bit green for my tastes, but overall I like the results and I truly enjoyed painting a picture instead of simply drawing-with-color.