Most people imagine adding layers of color when you tell them you paint. My work on this piece recently was all about scraping and scratching into the surface to reveal colors underneath. The idea of reduction -- taking away -- is one I learned in printmaking. In that medium, one approach is to carve away sections of block after each color layer until the last lines are darkest outlines or shadow.
In current paintings where I use wax mixed with oil colors, I can build up layers, scrape down and build up again until I'm satisfied with the results. I've been working on this 20x20" panel as a way to avoid attention to pieces destined for the CostaRica-themed show I'm doing in September. At the same time, working on this piece allows me to experiment with colors, shapes and techniques that will likely appear in those paintings, too.