In addition to the usual elements of a realistic painting in progress, such as color distribution or the illusion of light, a watercolor painter often needs to pay attention to and make decisions about the look of the medium itself. Is the paint worth looking at as a collection of brushstrokes apart from what it is a picture of?
Look at this watercolor by Georgia O'Keefe. The paint has been set free to flow and the transparent strokes are encouraged to allow light to pass through the subsequent layers. See how setting the strokes free demonstrates that the subject matter can be made from nothing but the beautiful paint