This is my first attempt. I used crappy paper, and it was a nightmare. First lesson was to bite the bullet, and use Arches. Second, I relied too heavily on the Masking fluid to preserve my whites. The chunky whites feel like a gimmick. I also relied fairly heavily on Ivory Black (I use Daniel Smith water colors because it’s what I bought.) The Ivory Black is super granulating, and very opaque. It gives me sharp darks, but none of the shadows consider the temperature of the surroundings, so it feels very flat. I also tried to incorporate far too many elements from the picture, and they all look half-assed, because… well they are. I’m not good at this yet, so half-assed details + lack of skill makes it all look amateurish. That’s ok though, because I am an amateur.
The point here is to learn.