|The ceiling looks slanted but really is straight,|
just my poor photography skills.
The island on the far right was actually much higher than I had realized from the reference photos. The photos of the landscape were taken at night so a little tricky to distinguish between land and water. You can still see some of the graphite below the island which I will continue to lift off. It is amazing how you can remove even the darkest darks if you have not already pressed too hard when applying them. I wrote the process below for those interested.
Erasing Areas of Graphite
To lift off most of the dark area, I took my kneaded eraser warmed it in my clean (yes I did this at the beginning of the drawing session) hand and kneaded it around while I contemplated what needed to be done. You can also use the cheap white mack tack at the dollar stores for this if you don't have a kneaded eraser or want a softer version. I actually started using the mack tack when I was learning as I did not know about the kneaded erasers and still use it in a pinch.
Once the eraser was warm and somewhat squishy, I gently pressed the eraser onto the paper and lifted off. Each time I pressed on the paper the graphite that was removed was of course on the eraser, so by kneaded after each press, you end up with a clean eraser which is much better able to lift off the graphite.
Most of the graphite can be erased in this way, slowly but surely, without pressing too hard with the eraser or rubbing. If you rub with the eraser, it actually pushes the graphite powder down into the grain of the paper which is not what as then it is near impossible to remove.
Once I am happy with the lifting off with the kneaded eraser, then I use the white rubber eraser to remove any remaining powder that is still lift-able. I may not be able to remove all of the powder, which in this case is not a problem as it will evolve into reflections in the water, but I should be able to remove most of it :)