Tint gum paste. If desired, tint 6 oz. gum paste petal color and 1 oz. leaf color. Using aluminum foil, make three additional small and 18 additional medium flower shaping bowls.
Make wired base. Tape three 20-gauge floral wires together with floral tape, starting ¾ in. from one end. Hot glue end of wire. Insert into craft foam ball.
Make eight small petals. Spread a thin film of shortening on clean smooth surface. Roll out gum paste for petals slightly less than 1/16 in. thick. Cut eight petals using the peony cut-out “C”. Place petals in storage board. Dust thin or medium foam with cornstarch as needed. Place a small petal on foam. Use small veining tool to score veins on petal. Repeat with a second petal. Brush gum glue adhesive on back side of petals, wrap over the foam ball, overlapping petals at the top. Working with one petal at a time, place petal on dusted shaping foam. Use veining tool to vein petal starting at outer edge and pulling into the center. Use ball tool to thin and ruffle edges. Brush gum glue adhesive on bottom half of petal. Attach petals to base, overlapping each other in the first row. Once all the petals are in place, ½ to ¾ in. of the base should be visible at the top.
Make six medium petals. Roll out gum paste slightly less than 1/16 in. thick and cut six petals using the peony cut-out “B”. Place in storage board. Move petal to dusted shaping foam. Vein and ruffle one petal following step 3. Place petal, veined side down, in small flower shaping bowl. Let dry 20 to 30 minutes or until petal holds shape of bowl but is still pliable. Repeat with remaining petals. Brush gum glue adhesive on bottom half of petals; attach to base overlapping each other with the tops of the petals aligned with the previous row and angled out slightly. The entire base should now be covered. Hang upside down to dry completely.
Make 11 more medium petals. Roll a 1 in. ball of gum paste into a 2 in. log. Roll out less than 1/16 in. thick over groove on impression mat. Place gum paste, ridge side up, on surface. Using peony cut-out “B”, cut petal with ridge centered and ending ¾ in. to 1 in. from top. Brush side of ridge with gum glue adhesive. Position 26-gauge floral wire and press ridge to seal. Place petal, wire side down, on dusted shaping foam. Vein and ruffle petal. Let dry, vein side up, in medium flower shaping bowls at least 24 hours. Repeat to make 10 additional wired petals.
Make 10 large petals. Repeat step 4 using a 1 in. ball of gum paste, large peony cut-out “A” and 26-gauge wire to make 10 wired petals. Let dry.
Make leaves if desired. Roll out leaf color gum paste 1/16 in. thick over groove on impression mat, forming ridge. Place gum paste, ridge side up, on dusted surface. Place peony leaf cut-out “D” centered on ridge. Cut leaf. Brush inside of ridge with gum glue adhesive. Place 26-gauge floral wire against ridge; fold ridge over wire. Position leaf, wire side up, on dusted leaf impression mat. Dust back of leaf with cornstarch. Press with thin foam to imprint veins. Let dry.
Assemble flower. Using floral tape, tape 11 medium wired petals around base. Tape 10 large petals around base, positioning just below the previous row. Tape leaves to flower.