I love the blooms that spring from hydrangea plants! This was my first time painting on a gessoed wood panel and found it to be much like painting with watercolor on hot press paper. Strokes are much more hard-edged...crisper...not bad...not good...just different. I had a difficult time finding a place to put the bloom for painting. I settled on putting it in a water glass right beside the painting on the easel stand. The first session revealed lots of negative space where the blooms had not yet reached maturity. The following day the blooms had opened further...much more beautiful...but lacking the artistic aesthetic of having the background show through those spaces. I chose to keep painting from my day #1 memory. My goal was to load up the brush to mimic the direction and stroke of each petal and allowed myself very little diddling around. For me, for flowers, the first fresh stroke is the best. Ah....experience.