Here’s a piece I did fairly quickly. I liked the energy in the lines of the drawing and the initial washes (with some nice strong oranges in the left side,) so I didn’t do so much watercolor that it became opaque. I dropped in a very dark deep blue background, and the outline of the head disappeared (because there was no value contrast between the dark brown hair and the dark blue background.) So, I used water and a napkin to soak up some of the background blue, lightening it. Though I liked that effect (it gives a sort of mottled texture which you can see still in the blue background,) there still wasn’t enough contrast, so I added the halo.