The Kiss is my second largest painting at 72 x 96 inches. It was painted on a black ground, a convention of mine at the time. I would paint the prepared canvas solid black before then painting on top of that base. The black stops the light from penetrating through the layers of semi-transparent paint to the white canvas and reflecting back (so often the goal in an oil painting), and so deadens the color and makes for a darkened, leaden image overall. I would discard this practice after this painting only to pick it up later for The Dark Paintings.