One of the things I like most about watercolor is the unpredictability of it. You can add the water and the paint and guide it in the direction you want it to go, but the final effect is the reaction of the water and pigment and paper to each other. This is from the photograph provided for Monthly Sketch Date for January. I loved the photo and had the idea to use salt in the background wash to give that crystalline look of foggy air. I also wanted the background to be very dark to show up the edges of rime frost. But the salt in the wash did not give me the effect I was looking for. Instead the crystals just drew the paint into blobs that ended up looking messy. It was a far cry from the airy, ethereal look I wanted. So once again, I did not make the deadline for the sketch date. But I wanted later to give it another try, maybe make the background darker and smooth some of those ugly blotches out. When I rewet the paper, suddenly those lovely crystal blooms appeared! It was exactly what I had expected the first time around. I added a little color but really it was the water that did all the work. Don't you love it when that happens?