My goal for this painting is to capture the sunlight and shadow that enlivens the ruffled leaves, and to play up the strong contrast between greens and reds (two colors almost directly opposite each other on the color wheel). After lightly sketching the plant shape, I painted the background around it, carefully leaving the plant shape white. I'm aiming for a sun-drenched feel overall, rather than an exact copy of the grasses and other leaves surrounding the wild tomato plant. The pigment mingled freely on wet paper and resulted in interesting "blooms" (dreaded when doing a flat wash, but in this painting very deliberately invited to form by adding drops of wet wash here and there on top of the background layer which was slightly damp.
The background wash is done in stages by working from bottom to top, primarily in different intensities of Winsor & Newton Green Gold, sometimes slightly modified with W&N Winsor Blue GS (green shade). I mixed a few puddles of these colors on my palette, keeping them wet and making sure the surface of the paper was damp as I moved upwards. To keep the visual weight at the bottom of the painting, as I neared the top the wash was thinned out as I added more and more water until I reached the top edge where the yellow-green color is very pale.
I'm giving attention to adding detail in the leaf veins, but aiming for restraint when working on the shadow details. I'm using only a few colors throughout –– mostly on transparent or semi-transparent staining pigments, so adding successive layers of glazing on the background the underneath layers won't lift.