I did a version of this in pastels a while ago. I regularly go through my painting portfolios in order to cull them and spotted the first version of this and thought I could improve it in watercolour. So off I went. In the end I think it came out a tie. I love the rich energetic foreground foliage illuminated by the low sunshine against the calm river below, pausing before it goes over the weir.
Perhaps it is the trees and their branches on the right which unsettle me. The actual branches did stretch out and disappeared into the sun, but in the painting they seem ungainly and clutter the place. In contrast the group of trees on the left provide a good coda and, as such, maybe I should echo them on the right and let the eye wander down the bank of trees that line the river.
This was done in my favourite three colours a warm red, yellow and blue and allowed wet colour mixing on the paper to get a myriad of subtle shades before picking out some recognisable shapes and forms.
Originally I had an image of a mountain river I took in New Hampshire one fall, but I felt the background was too dark. Recently I saw a woodland scene on the TV and it gave me an idea for a more interesting background. Both were contra jour so fitted well together and seemed to add up to more than the sum of the parts.