I have just finished reading Atmospheric Watercolours: Painting with Freedom, Expression and Style by Jean Haines. As I read through it, I did many of the freeing and fun exercises outlined in her book. Jean's work is loose, almost abstract even, and if that's not your style, like it isn't mine, let me encourage you to work your way through the book nonetheless!
Jean's work is sure to inspire you to paint more freely, joyfully, and playfully. I love her advice that we should "paint for the bin" and free ourselves from the pressure of painting art with a capital A every time we pick up our brushes.
Another piece of advice that I really value is her insistence on not rushing to finish a painting. That often our watercolor paintings are done long before we stop painting on them and that we should take the time to enjoy their progress at all stages of development. We may often find that we are indeed finished much earlier in the process than we would have otherwise acknowledged if we will just slow down and enjoy the journey.
Below are some of the studies I created following Jean's book. Most of her example projects in the book are not step by step, from start to finish. However I do recommend the book for fun, for loosening up, and for a joyful approach to watercolor painting.
And as Jean Haines reminds us: we should enjoy every step of the creative process, both with each individual painting we undertake and with our overall art journey.