Another painting from a photo I took. Here, I am looking up into a tall, stately sycamore tree during its summer season.
I did a few things here. First, I tried to use complementary colors for shadows and dark spots on the tree trunk and branches. I used zinc white and a bit of ochre for the trunk, and for the dark spots threw in some violet and white and dark blue, eventually touching up dark areas with black and brighter areas with titanium white. The thin branches are straight black.
Right now my palette is pretty muddy, so I sort of wash the colors left behind with a brush to find the remains of the pure color. I decided to do this as I want to try a stay-wet type of palette to see if that helps me keep my colors cleaner, but I want to use up these colors as I practice.
I am also rinsing my brush out between colors, and drying it, too. Little details like this are not something I think about, and so I am trying to create better habits for keeping my paints clean, whether gouache or watercolor, as it really does make a big difference. For practice, though, my muddy palette will do as I practice techniques.