Technique and condition

The painting comprises an uncomplicated construction. A small commercially primed canvas has been painted with artists’ tube oil paints. Pencil under-drawing is visible as an outline around each element of the composition. There is evidence of a tentative approach to the colouring of each shape. A number of these shapes have been over-painted, for example the grey rectangle superimposed on the black rectangle centre left was initially painted red. The artist then painted the grey paint on top. Several of the white elements had originally been coloured. The underlying coloured paint has an optical effect on the overlying white paint. Each white element has a slightly different shade and surface reflectance. The paint may also have become slightly more translucent with age allowing the underlying colours to affect the appearance of the over-lying ones.

The paint is applied with a small fine brush which adds to the sense of the precision of the composition. The paint layer is in a fine condition although surface dirt has become imbibed in the fairly lean paint film.

Rachel Barker