Most of the time, when we talk about translating a subject into layers of watercolor it involves working from scene or a photo and ending up with a painting. We can also benefit from practicing understanding how other artists have proceeded. Look at this painting by George Post , for example:
Throughout the painting the artist realizes his intentions with no more than 3 layers. In many places there are only 2.
Here's another painting made with relatively few layers, this one by Eliot O'Hara:
O'Hara's layers get a bit more tangled up than Post's, but the overall feeling is one of clarity and simplicity. Both artists have used mostly hard edges.
We'll look at one more painting:
This one is by Josefia Lemon. That mountain in the distance presents a layer-counting puzzle. The dark dots have been painted on top of a multi-colored surface. Are there just two layers, then, or should we count each color as a separate layer?
Actually, it doesn't really matter, as long as you can figure out how she did it. Here's a clue: Look for a common denominator. Is there a way you could paint the whole mountain shape with a single color, into which you could put the other colors? I see some soft edges, by the way.
For homework, try copying sections of one or more of these paintings. If you're feeling ambitious, feel free to copy an entire painting. Remember, it's not necessary to duplicate the specifics. Your little dots don't have to be identical to the ones Jo Lemon made. Similar will do just fine.
If you print out the images, please bring those to class along with your work.