Here I have begun lifing out light areas. Because I'm painting over gesso, all the watercolor is sitting on the surface, not absorbed into paper. This is a two-edged sword. On the plus side, it is very easy to lift the paint. On the other side, the surface is so delicate that it is easy to lift paint even when you don't want to.
Now the pace slows way, way down and work becomes more meditative. I'm considering the edges and adjusting the lights and dark areas very carefully. With this piece, I'm striving to keep the lights and darks within a narrow range.
Here's the finished painting, Where it Became Clear, 9x18 inches, watercolor on gessoed paper. I reworked the the shrub on the left considerably, and made the distant mountains less distinct. The foreground also needed a lot of consideration to get the right color temperature and amount of detail definition.
People always ask how long it takes for me to complete a painting. I never really know. Usually I have 4 or 5 all going at once. Being able to switch from one painting to another keeps my eye fresh and also allows for drying time. It's critical that the painting dries completely between stages. And then there's thinking time. So really the only answer I have is that it takes as long as it takes. Some come easy, and some are slower and more difficult. In my mind, a painting that required a lot of labor is not necessarily more valuable than one that just flowed effortlessly off the brush.