A common problem in painting is that you can get too fixed in subject, style and process. Experimentation is always good to keep from getting into that rut. Another thing that you can do is switch mediums.
Every few years I take a break from watercolor painting and switch to oil painting. The process of painting in oils is the opposite of painting in watercolor (paint light to dark in watercolor, and paint dark to light in oil painting) which forces me to think about what I am doing.
Now it is time to switch back to watercolor painting and thinking light to dark once again.
Because of the pandemic, I had much more time to paint. These are the oil paintings that I completed over the past three months.
Near the finish line, I made one last check on all of the values, colors, temperature, intensity and textures.
Completing the painting is attending to the the details–such as adding more rigging to the sails and more detail to the items on the deck of the ship. Done.
The next painting in the planning stages will be my favorite subject–a waterfall.
In this stage of the painting I added more of the rigging in the ship. Again, the drying time is critical in oil painting. Most of the rigging is a dark value which will dry faster than the light values in the background.
Once the rigging was dry, I finished painting the water behind the ship.
I added color in the foreground water to create more movement. Water is relatively "soft" and should have soft edges. Because that area was not yet dry, it was easy to blend, achieving the desired effect.
I also altered the color of the reflections on the ship to be consistent with the adjustment in the color of the water.
The next and final step will be to refine the painting, and add a few last details.