I have successfully improved the white orchid painting with a second session tonight. I still have more work to do on it but if I keep up with the success the end result is going to be wonderful.
The key to this painting was subtlety in everything. There are so many tiny value changes and small hints of color that are very necessary for the the whole white orchid painting to work well.
I first changed my brushes when I started and opted for sable type brushes instead of the normal bristle brushes. I wanted to cut back on the thickness of the brush strokes and put more focus on the subtle transitions of value and color.
Edges are another key here. Most of them are very sharp but I began to push some of the darker edges of the white orchid pedals so that they could be lost in shadow. Unfortunately the photo makes it look like I have lost all of the darker elements behind the orchid but they are there just very subtle.
Above you can see a direct comparison from the second session on the left and the first session on the right.