As you can plainly see, this painting is going off completely in its own direction, never mind what I had planned for it. This is what often happens when the original photograph is really blah as far as color is concerned, and I am therefore free to make it be anything at all. “Castaways” was bound in my mind to the photograph, probably because the colors were so strong to begin with. But when I choose preliminary “pour” colors, especially in the case of “washed-out” photographs used as source material, I often pick colors that are quite vibrant. In this case, purple and the combination of pink and yellow, which when blended turned into a color close to purple’s complement: yellow-orange. The juxtaposition of the two makes for a wonderful play of light and dark saturated colors. The challenge now becomes to carry out this color combination all the way to the finished work.
When working on a painting this large (it’s 24″ x 36″) my goal for the first pass is just to get a coat of paint over the entire canvas, even if it’s only a very thin color coat. I did put more time into the clouds, but they still need a lot more before I’m ready to leave them and work on the building. In this particular case, I’ll need to complete the sky as much as possible before moving on in order to avoid having the clouds look like they were “interrupted” by the building.