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.