Here you can see the preliminary sketch before I began to choose my palette. After I have developed a nice sketch that I like I transfer it to watercolor paper. In the case of this painting I used Fabriano Artistico 300 lb hot press watercolor paper. 300 lb makes all the difference in the world. My watercolor professor in college made me use 300 lb way back in the day and I have never used anything else. It makes a difference. Today post however is still from my sketchbook. I didn't take photos of the transfer stage.
I use the sketch book to try colors and techniques. This painting needed a lot of playing with because I used interference powders to make the iridescent paints to capture the hummingbird's iridescent feathers.