I recently completed a new self-portrait that I've been planning in my head for some time. Ideas for paintings often arise from things I see or read, or certain 'problems' that present themselves. "What if...?" often leads me to an interesting concept to work from. For this painting, I had to have everything set up in anticipation of sunset; I only had about 30-45 minutes max each day (you can see the shadow creeping up my chest). It took 6-7 consecutive days painting outdoors at sunset to develop the painting to this stage.
I want to clarify: I see these colors. These aren't the colors of Fauvism or Expressionism which depart from describing reality: not arbitrary, they are carefully orchestrated using a full color palette to describe light and space. The six earlier self-portraits below give some comparison; all depict different lighting situations and times of year. Three were painted indoors, three were painted outside. One of the strange things about color (among many) is that if you believe there is a lot of color, you'll see it; if you don't think it's there, you won't see it.
Top row, from left: Self-Portrait with Cool Light (2005); Self-Portrait in Winter (2007); Self-Portrait by Open Door (2014).
Bottom row, from left: Self-Portrait 100F in the Shade (2015); Self-Portrait by Moonlight (2015); Self-Portrait Indoors (2016).