I created this Wollongong Lighthouse for my first custom painting here in Sydney. According to him, this is a memorable place for him and his wife. I really love creating artworks with a story behind, it likes set a mood for me and make me more inspired in painting.
Before painting specially if its a big canvas, I always do a sample painting in a 5"x7"paper just to test the sketch and the proper color combinations. Also I don't want to waste the paper haha! so better be safe :)
As soon as I'm satisfied with the sample painting, I will sketch the landscape and stretch the paper. This is a very important step in watercolor painting, always stretch your paper especially if you are doing a lot if wet techniques like I always do for landscapes. I will post my process in stretching paper in another post.
As soon as the paper is dry, I apply the masking fluid for the sea bubbles and the details in the coast. This will protect that area from the washes that I will apply for both the sea and shore. I am using Schmincke masking fluid, I love the one with blue color so that I can monitor where the I applied it rather than the white ones.
When the masking fluid is dry, I will start painting the first washes for sky, sea and shore. Then I will build it from there until I reach depth and highlight that I am satisfied with.