I feel like I broke fresh ground with my watercolor skills in just the past week. I am able to do things that I never was able to do before, and fearlessly too. Watercolor always was such a source of frustration and disappointment for me, but I persevered because, even though watercolor hates me, I love watercolor. And FINALLY I feel that something clicked, and my paintings are elevated to a new level.
Even if an external observer may not notice anything as such in the quality of my paintings, I feel the difference. I am a lot more bold with my decisions, lot less worried about the consequences and also much more open to taking the painting in a new direction in case the original plan isn't working out. I think all of this, along with a ton of practice, will eventually result in better paintings.
Here is a piece of advice I can give to fellow beginner watercolor enthusiast - You just have to go through a lot of heartache with watercolor before you start to make things that you enjoy. It is just the nature of the medium. But just trust that it will all start to come together one day.
I found that it was easier to learn when I reduced the parameters to an absolute minimum, and then slowly increase the variables as I mastered each one. Start with a few paints, maybe even just one (payne's grey perhaps?), practice brush strokes, do monochromatic studies, do color mixes etc. etc. We all want to do complete paintings when we sit down to paint, but in my opinion, it is a lot more instructive to do a lot of little studies.
Speaking of studies, here is a little study of my watercolor stuff.