You might conclude from a few experiences like this that water is just too hard to paint, and add it to the list of subjects to be avoided. Living in Seattle, though, you can only get away with that for a little while before the lakes or the sound, or just the wet streets start calling to you. Besides, how can you paint Koi without something for them to swim in (hmmm, now that's a koi painting I might enjoy)
The problem is all about the complexity of the subject, but not with how to match that in paint. Rather, it's a question of how to make it simpler. Instead of focusing in on ever more subtle aspects of the subject, the real task is to step back and look for ways to generalize all that information.
Looking at water as interpreted by master watercolor painters is a good way to begin seeing which, of all those features we can perceive, are the essential ones.
|Homer, again, in Bermuda.|
How many layers? What did the first layer look like by itself?