The peony has so many folds and angles. You can lost in there. I have posted the steps one and two below to share the simplifying of the essential forms.
Step one and two were about finding the pattern of shadow shapes without leaving harsh edges.
Once that hard work was done it was only the background dark shapes left to add.
What I have learned so far:
Peony shapes are full of angles. Not soft curved edges like a rose. Also the overall shape is that of a platter not a cone. Studying these forms has helped inform me about how to make decisions about places where the visual information is ambiguous. In other words...experience helps, as it does in real life.
I am a watercolor coach, watercolorist, and author.