Here`s my painting completed:
Continuing with the demo, these are the base washes for the leaves. Mostly I have used new gamboge towards the right hand side as that side is hit with direct light and is warmer.
The next washes are the greens. I let the bluish violet highlights remain from the previous washes. Also let the yellow veins showing through. Here`s a small trick for soft edged veins and small highlights. Wet the entire leaf and gently blot the water with a tissue. The leaf will be just a tiny bit damp. Now lay in water again this time leaving out the veins or highlights. Drop in color and there! soft edges.
The final layer has deeper colors and shadows. I left some spots for white with masking fluid for pollen grains which have fallen on the leaves and also for water drops.
I used hansa yellow medium for the first wash in the wings, the abdomen has raw sienna as well and a highlight in the center. The next wash has new gamboge for the wing nearest to the viewer. Then I picked out the markings in mauve. Masked the legs and antennae and painted them after the bg was done. Grey for the legs and mauve for the antennae.
I usually like to do these small thumbnails with different colors in the bg. You never know, sometimes you might surprise yourself! Here, I had already decided on the complementary yellow- purple color scheme but still wanted to see the analogous yellows, oranges and greens……
I wet the top area first and dropped in my colors; threw some salt in while the wash was still damp. After this had completely dried, I brushed away the salt, wet the area again, adjusted the colors a bit and put in some stronger colored dots in the white spots the salt had left behind. I quickly added in a stem with a bud and some leaves behind the foreground leaves.
Put in greens in the bottom area. Left to dry completely.
Now the area in the middle. Dried. Then I made the area at the bottom, darker valued. After it had dried, I used the same dark value as a wash on the bud and leaves that I had added previously. This makes them recede into the bg. The leaves at the extreme left merge almost completely because they are glazed with a darker value whereas the bud and stem form a middle layer. I also lifted out a few leaves with a stiff slightly damp brush.
Waterdrops: Waterdrops will be the same color as the surface they are on. The highlight will be on the side facing the light source. This is due to reflection of light but refraction causes the area around the highlight to be dark. Using this light against dark principle along with a shadow underneath the drop is sufficient to create the illusion of water drops.