This rainy night in New Orleans painting is one of the commissions I'm currently working on. After several sketches in grayscale and color, I moved on to the 11x14" painting. The first couple of washes looked fine but as I kept working on it, I lost the vibrance and spontaneity that I really want this painting to have (an easy thing to lose in watercolor!). I took the masking off too early and ended up with too few whites to work with. I also didn't like the way that the colors in my painting interacted, I felt it was a little too dissonant. So I abandoned the original painting and started making studies. Different color schemes, different ways to leave out the whites, more or less wet-into-wet-ness - but overall, trying to keep it fresh (as a rainy night should be). This also coincided with me finding a pretty good blog post by David Kessler with tips on how to loosen up your watercolor painting. Most of those are things that I keep telling my students but it's one thing to know it and another, to remember to apply it when you're stuck and don't know what to do. Kessler's post was definitely helpful.
I now have four studies, in addition to the original painting (the one on the very bottom). I would looove some feedback! Which version do you like best? What works (or doesn't work) for you?