Evolution of a Watercolor Painting

My two-year-old son has taken to napping on my chest lately.

I wanted to capture the moment, so I made a watercolor painting. Here's the initial watercolor study I did in my sketchbook:


After painting this in my watercolor sketchbook, I decided to paint a larger version on watercolor paper. But first I posted the study to a Facebook group called "Watercolor Critique" and asked for feedback.

Some people loved it. Others found the composition confusing, and recommended that I show more of Liam's nose.

The First Washes


I started the second version with some loose watercolor washes and blooms. I wanted the background to be stylized. I love the saturation of colors, but ultimately needed to come back and darken the values.

The Finished Painting


Here's the finished version. I was really happy with it until someone pointed out that the hand and foot are too small.  Can't win 'em all, I guess.