It can be frustrating when learning to paint to reach a stalemate with your progress.
Attempts at oils can run into trouble through a lack of patience with the time it takes for the canvas to dry before another layer may be applied without dislodging the previous one and becoming a muddy mess.
Acrylics can dry before you expect them to and the colours remain garish despite all endeavours to tone them down.
Pastelles insist on a refusal to co-operate and smudge after the work is complete making them difficult to store.
These are just examples of the brick walls an artist can come up against whilst learning the skills.
It may be time for a change of medium. It is not an admission of defeat, merely time to gain relief from your frustrations with the chosen medium or subject matter. Perhaps your technique is too heavy for watercolours and would be better trurning it around. Instead of leaving the original white background between deeper pigments at the beginning of the work, it may be added at a later stage with solid oil or acrylic paint and manipulated to add light effects.
If you have invested in watercolour equipment and want a change, why not try the addition of gouache or inks to bring that professional finish you are after.
For those more inclined to use acrylics there are a range of gloss or matt media mixes that will lift the work in the places chosen by you to give a completely different finish to your normal, dry one that might have chipped with age. But if you have had enough of them, it is so easy to paint over them with oils, adding linseed oil for the shine in those places. Waste not want not. Of course, don't cover all your acrylic paintings if there are some that bring you a sense of achievement.
Whatever your medium, it could be that by changing it you will find the artist within that is waiting to express him/herself more successfully.
by Barbara Le Blanc