I went to Compton Verney recently to see the exhibition on Dutch Flower Painting 1600-1800. There were some absolutely beautiful paintings there but they're not just pretty vases of flowers, there's a lot more meaning to them than that (could be the subject of a longer article).
I particularly liked a painting by Jacob van Walscapelle Flowers in a Glass Vase (about 1670) with all the insects dotted about on the flowers as well and I've decided to paint this detail of a flower to see if I can learn the technique.
You can see from the original that the peony(?) is slightly set back into shadow. I started with a monochrome underpainting on a primed 6 inch square canvas and I'm now in the process of glazing. This is painstaking work as you have to let each layer dry before applying the next but it gives the painting such lovely depth, it's quite a magical effect. I'll add the ladybird and other insect on last. If I like the result I may do a series of three different sections at a time.