Here is how I went about making the Oars painting.
First off, this is pretty big for a watercolor. 15" x 47"
From the local hardware store, I bought a box of decorative wood slats intended for use on an accent wall. I cut a couple of 1x2 pieces to act as braces and put together my support. I intentionally allowed the boards to gap in places.
With the support finished (and unsanded), I taped off the side edges, then roughly covered the surface with Daniel Smith Titanium White Watercolor Ground. I let this sit overnight to dry. My house usually has low humidity, so overnight was enough. Other places might take 24-48 hours.
This morning I penciled in the oars and began to put in the background. This was done to a large degree to find out if the shapes would read correctly. this is the biggest thing I have ever painted, so the drawing was key.
Using strong mixes of French Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna, I began blocking in the shapes. (Side note, I only use those two colors in the whole painting. Nothing else.)
I came back again with BS/FUMB mixes darkening the oars and dropping in shadows.
I went back into the background (again with BS/FUMB) to darken it up. I allowed it to dry and went back in again with 2" flat to add some drybrush texture.
Here is the final piece:
Here are some closeup shots that show how the wood slats really adds texture to the painting.
Later today, I will apply several coats of acrylic fixative, about 30 minutes apart. Then I will follow up with two coats of acrylic matte varnish.