I did this pastel specifically to study the color theory similar to the painting, Model in the Studio, Danae? Orange gold in the foreground and go towards green-turquoise in the background. The pastel might be helpful for a few stunning last accents. We will see.
I have made a big change in doing sky in these sea-scape pastels, instead of the heavens arcing overhead I have treated it more like a backwall. And I have added goldish greens to the top to compress the sky so its lightness is more horizontally centered — it pushes the eye down towards the center of the image.
With the figure it is a little easier to understand the philosophical view of humanity, with landscape it is a little more difficult, as many landscapes are benign. I think the process of color theory, the composition of horizontals, and the light give philosophical clues. Perhaps something like: the horizontals create a sense of calm observation; the color is a call to seek out the context of how distances is different than the foreground; and light is great metaphor for looking for and finding a solution.
I am a little numb finishing this, more like stupidly satisfied, my brain is exhausted but satisfied and over-saturated.
Michael Newberry, Idyllwild, 11/5/2020