I think I liked this better a couple of hours before I stopped. The leaves curiously looked a lot more interesting and seemed brighter before the background came about. I think I am going to try this one again tomorrow.
I learned that many light coats makes for smooth transition. I've read those instructions but still brushed with a heavy hand. I wish you could see those leaves before I slipped back into full coverage washes rather than selectively applying to select areas.
Another little trick I picked up was using titanium white to highlight. Once the white was in place, a few washes with a transparent pulled it down.
Here's a grayscale that I'll reference for the next cut. Perhaps more tonal variation in the leaves and less in the background. That orangy-red is out too.
In fact, the b/w background might work...
By the way, this drawing was taken from my very first assignment in the Cornell drawing class.
And lastly, after working out the images, finishing this post, and getting wrapped up in a movie, I went back to clean up my palette and found my favorite brush still in water and with its lovely tip bent horribly. Bending it back just didn't work. Holding it straight down under running hot water released the curl!