I have been experimenting with a few new techniques recently, but in this painting I decided to push them a little further. I first prepped my canvas with texture and a bright underpainting. Taking the composition, subject, and color into consideration during this stage was an important step in preparing the tone of the piece.
I began by "texture painting" and planning the major shapes and movement in the composition. Because I had already prepared the canvas, I wasn't dealing with a blank slate (so to speak), and blocking in the major highlights and shadows over the warm underpainting served a new purpose. I usually paint these in the planning phase, but here I considered how the subsequently painted layers would interact with the underpainting since the texture and glaze allow for much of the underpainting to peak through. After blocking in the highlights and shadows, I focused on the brighter colors and then eventually toned parts of those down with midtones.
Once the painting was nearly complete, I flipped the canvas to study the composition and realized the painting took on new meaning. Unable to decide which interpretation I liked the most, I decided to sign the painting a little unconventionally and left the directional decision to the viewer. The challenges this painting presented allowed for a lot of organic moments in the that I truly loved.