In my more recent figurative works, I have started suggesting more of a background, an environment, a setting to place the figures so that the composition lends itself more to letting the observer find a story.
The original reference photo was a simple studio shot, but the pose lent itself to the idea of the model tentatively slipping into the water. You know how it goes, the mind says, yes!, go for a swim, but the body, mmm... that's a bit cool for me. But, the best solution is of course always, just to jump straight in and get the shock of the cold over with.
But that's just my opinion. How do you deal with getting into the cold water?
"How Far Will You Go?" or "Taking a Dip" 30 x 24cm, oil on canvas