I believe I reached a new level of understanding with this painting. I felt more in control and I've always have been pleased with the outcome, minus a few complaints. I forget to mention sizes with my post and I feel it is important information. This was a larger painting, perhaps 2 to 3 feet across. My mother gave me the canvas and I believe it was a linen canvas, which i have to say was not my most favorite surface to paint on. Especially for a painting with such fine details. A gessoed board would have been ideal. I continued my experimentation with using glazing techniques which were much more successful than the wine bottles. So in the darker areas of the green leaves, it's actually layers of reds and blues on top of the green, applied after the green had dried. It gives a richer, more complex color than just mixing the dark color on the pallette. I was less succesful with glazing the purple flower and I feel I could have used more brilliant coloring in the petals. My stlye of painting has moved away recently from this type of tight rendering, but I'm torn because I like some of the qualities that I achieved, but my looser style keeps my blood pressure from rising. I hate to mention more flaws as I'm prone to do because I actually sold this painting, and the buyer reads my blog. Karen purchased this painting on ebay and luckily for her there wasn't a bidding war. I accuse her of drunking bidding, but she totally denies this and professes her love for this piece. I want to believe this and if I keep pointing out whats wrong, she'll likely end up putting this in the closet. But, I must profess this painting screamed at me about composition, and how important it is to the overall success. My reference was a photo taken by my friend Amy and I was so inspired by it. I tried taking photos of lilies on my travels through Asia, but never came close to getting such a beautiful photo of one, and I had to capture it on canvas. I knew I was painting it too much like the photo with the flowers sitting on the lower half of the canvas. I've always thought I should have rearranged them so that the darkest area at the top wouldn't draw so much attention, or perhaps the addition of a dragon fly or something small in that upper area would have helped with balance. I think I read that a pleasing composition has 2 large items and one small. I don't know, but my ridged adherence to painting exactly what I see did not allow room for experimentation. I try this in a later painting and you'll see the laughable results. My many thanks to Karen for buying this and supporting me. I am forever grateful for this sweet gesture, and I hope she continues to view this painting through rose colored glasses, or through the bottom of a wine glass! : ) No refunds!