I just completed this painting a few minutes ago and was so pleased with the results that I had to post it right away. I darkened the background a bit behind the leaves on the right-hand side to increase the contrast, I added veins to the leaves using a negative painting technique, and added veining to the rose petals using a very diluted brilliant red violet, though next time I would dilute it even further because I think the lines should be even paler than what’s shown here.
As I mentioned previously, this painting was based on a tutorial from Janet Whittle’s book, “Roses in Watercolour.” Since Ms. Whittle stressed that using the right type of paper was very important to achieving this type of background wash and I didn’t have the paper she recommended on hand (Arches 140 lb. Not paper), I practiced her wash technique on the four types of paper I had on hand–Fabriano Artistico Hot Pressed, Fabriano Artistico Cold Pressed, Canson Aquarelle/Acuarela Cold Pressed, and Aquarelle Arches Cold Pressed. It was a worthwhile experiment because the results varied widely with each type of paper, and the Aquarelle Arches Cold Pressed 140-lb. paper was the hands-down winner.
My palette consisted of Winsor Newton opera rose, aureolin, quinacridone gold, Winsor red, indanthrene blue, Winsor violet, and perylene maroon as well as Schmincke brilliant blue violet, May green, helio green, and brilliant red violet.
I will definitely be using this wash technique in the future as well as some of the other techniques I learned from this book. I highly recommend it.