Battling with roses
One of my first mistakes was leaving extra roses in the vase that I didn't intend to paint because I wanted a lot of leaves. That turned out to be confusing as I'd forget which ones I was drawing, get the stems mixed up, etc.
I was too lazy or rushed to draw all the leaves exactly. I schmeered them in and then did some refinement, but not enough. Leaves need to be specific in order to look like leaves.
I painted the roses over and over and over, in all different shades of pink, red, purple, yellow, greys, beige and browns. I tried adding chiaroscuro to make them look 3-D. I finally re-thought and re-drew them in petal-by-petal in paint.
They were still not right. I schmeered some paint over some of them so that they would go back in space and become atmospheric. That helped.
I painted in delicate, frilly edges and shadows, but they still looked odd (and did not match the rough, casual feel of the rest of the painting.)
Finally, I knew the new shapes well enough—I went over them with a bunch of pink paint, quickly, while squinting, just dabbing at them with a large brush, making them blockier, and trying to make them feel like roses. Three are sort of in focus. The actually look less like roses then before, but feel more like roses.
Logistically I had to keep the two rabbits separated from each other and from the flowers and the guitar (so that tends to throw the proportions off).
Now that I painted the blue guitar, it is for sale. Nice Gibson 135, fantastic sound and sustain, easy reverb, nice set up ... I just don't need it anymore. Any takers?