Kathryn, my business manager, said I should post a work in progress...so here 'tis. This is the original photo of the RR bridge in Lewiston. (Julie and I saw it a lot since we passed it every day on our way to her radiation treatments.) I liked the strength, colors and patterns in the structure.
This is after a couple of hours of work: I use painters' tape (of course!) to tack down the edges of the watercolor paper (Arches 140 lb. rough). Then after sketching it in, I used masking fluid to save the areas I want to keep white. The sky and background washes were put in next (the Lewiston hills are just starting to get the only green they will have during the year). The bridge is very complicated, so I tried to get just the basic lines in. I never try to do an architectural rendering - I leave that to the pros. The original sky color was depressing, so I decided to make it mostly sunny, with high, thin clouds, moving at an opposite diagonal to the bridge.
Getting down to the detail work at this point - putting in the strong cross bracing of the bridge. I really liked the high control rooms with the windows - imagine the view from up there! The two white curves are suspended walkways - very cool! When the bridge is lowered, they form a pedestrian walkway across the river. (I masked them in earlier.)
After finishing the raised bridge, I did the blue metal ends on each side of the river, being sure to make the further one a bit more unfocused with less intense color. I wanted to keep the viewer at street level, so the dike (grassy slope), the street lamp and the sign were put in last. I purposely shrank the sign since I didn't want it to pull too much attention, so it serves as a visual anchor on that corner. And now it's done - thanks for reading and looking, feel free to let me know your comments. Blessings!