I had to scramble to complete paintings on the previous days, but I had the luxury of a few hours to both plan for and paint this one. I had in mind to use complimentary colors for strong contrast (blue and orange), but tweaked that idea a bit to get earthier colors once I had the theme. I liked the idea of autumn getting ready to return; the view outside my window the day I painted it reinforced that concept.
I also chose a color for the skin tones that has a lot of texture and character: Hematite Burnt Scarlet. I also mimicked an old Man Ray photo technique, solarization, by lightening the browns away from the nose and mouth. The idea here is to make an image that slowly resolves itself – if you start with mountains, you wind up with a woman just ready to get up from repose. If you start with a woman, the textures should take you toward other ideas.
8″ x 11″ on cold press paper. Click for larger image.