It is frequently said that a good painting always starts out with a good drawing. I never truly believed this, and for the past many years, sort of "winged it" with either no underlying drawing, or a hastily drawn sketch. But since I've switched to a process where I make sure the underlying drawing is appealing, I have been much happier with my watercolors. Yes, sometimes the drawing takes a long time, as my drawing skills are not all that great. I usually look at a photograph pulled up on the computer screen and I tediously draw. Frequent erasing of false lines. Sometimes I'll spend 30 minutes drawing something, then find the thing I was drawing was not properly placed and end up erasing the whole thing.
Some artists will draw on a piece of drawing paper, and once they get the drawing the way they like it, they will trace the drawing and transfer to the watercolor paper. They do this in order to prevent damage to the watercolor paper, which can result in resistant sections of paper, or differing textures that react to watercolor differently. But I've been switching to Strathmore Series 500 hot-pressed paper that comes pre-cut to 8 x 10 sheets. I chose these sheets because I seem to prefer this size, and if I ever want to frame some of my artwork (something I have yet to do) you can purchase inexpensive frames including matting. But I've noticed the paper will take the multiple erasing without changing the characteristics of the paper. Also, if I really dislike the painting, I can paint something else on the other side, and I feel like I'm not wasting as much.
Work is work. I've finished my three nights this week, and am off until Monday night. We're seeing the new Jason Bourne movie at Studio Movie Grill in Scottsdale.