I didn't start with the first colors I picked up - orange and yellow were too "warm" and the brown and gray were to "dull". Red was completely out of the question. It has been 100 degrees-plus here for almost a month straight and I need something that will cool me down.
Blues...purples... aquas.... greens - cool colors - seemed to be the best option.
I applied paints directly to the canvas and used long, broad, sweeping strokes - covering the entire canvas. I like to sometimes create "waves" with my brush strokes - which I did here. (You might be able to tell if you really look closely at the picture)
And now that this stage - the background - is done, I'll spend some time deciding what to add next. I'm thinking my color scheme will stay on the cool side, with maybe a "pop" of warmth for contrast: