Many years ago I took photos of the lily pads at our local Sequim pond. I have tried painting this scene several times over the years and just could not create the painting I wanted. Finally I realized I needed to take a smaller bite and crop the reference image until it had just a few major dark and light shapes. I cut 1/4" foam core and 400 grit UART paper to the size of an existing frame. I mounted the UART sanded paper to the board, drew in the rough lily shapes with charcoal and then slathered on dark neutralized watercolors.
Another example of pastel over watercolor; a pencil sketch on 300# Arches watercolor paper.
I used a full sheet of Arches 300# watercolor paper measuring 22" x 30"
This view is right across the street from my home - I am so lucky to live here in sunny Sequim, WA!
I begin by transferring my drawing to a full sheet of 300# Arches paper. I thoroughly wet the paper on both sides, let it swell and then staple it to my backboard.