I recently took yet another excellent Craftsy class - Anna Mason's Realistic Watercolors Step by Step. Anna is a self taught artist who specializes in painting realistic flowers and fruit in watercolor. Her method is very different than what I've done in the past and I love the amount of control you get with it.
Anna starts by drawing a light pencil sketch with a 0.5mm mechanical pencil with HB lead. She measures out the piece to get accurate proportions - which is time consuming, but effective. She them uses very light washes - and special spotter brushes that are much smaller than I'm used to working with and available in a set from my favorite brush company, Rosemary & Co. - and paints the lightest lights first. Next, she paints the darkest darks and then uses "tonal juggling" to get the mid-tones correct in relation to one another and to the lights and darks in the painting overall.
I loved the class and am trying out these techniques on my own macro photos and on portraits as well. Here is my rose from the class. I'm pretty happy with it!
I've also added the rose to my Redbubble products and it makes a great floral pattern!
Have you tried Anna's methods? Or other Craftsy classes?