Pam worked on this orchid for a long time after the blooms were spent, relying on photos for colour and shadow references. It was a real challenge to get the depth of colour needed without sacrificing translucency and light. 

It can be very difficult to paint dark or highly saturated subjects without creating a thick crust of paint, something to avoid with watercolour. Pam struggled with trying to layer washes that seemed to refuse to darken. She eventually managed to increase the concentration of her washes and work in some dry brush to create a velvety rich surface.

I really love the drape of the composition that comes from outside the frame and the way the little buds are painted, hanging quietly over the the emptiness at the bottom of the page.