After some quick sketches and rough painting on hot and cold press paper, doing value studies of the flowers, and practicing painting white flowers, it was time to work on painting orchid foliage. Stems first. Below is my sample page where I worked on creating demos; as always I learn as much from preparing the demo as from the actual demonstration for others.
Look at the stem you are painting: a common mistake is to start too dark, in that like other parts of the flower the color will (or can, your choice) be built up in layers. The first layer is to establish the stem's width and overall shading or value, the next is to emphasize values, the last to add lines for veins, or any color markings. The next image shows 4 stem paintings (note...these are very quick and rough). The first (farthest to left) was made by laying down a stroke for the stem, then lifting up paint with a brush with a little bit of water, and no pigment. Voila, three-dimmnsionality. The next (to right), was made by laying down one stroke for the stem, then adding a bit of darker green to one side, to emphasize that the stem is round. The stem second from the right has lines over preliminary layers, implying veins, and the final, rightmost stem, has a bit of red coloration as the final layer.
Bottom line, as per usual: practice, practice, practice! As for leaves, below is my practice demo sheet for painting orchid leaves (and pseudobulbs, below leaves):
Enough for now. My next entry will show Sue, Jane, and Robyn's final pieces. They each took only one day to do these: I was favorably impressed!