Technique and condition

The painting was executed on a single piece of commercially-primed, medium-weight linen canvas that was stretched over a softwood expandable stretcher and attached with steel tacks at the edges. The commercial priming appears to be a white acrylic emulsion gesso that extends over the entire canvas. It was applied as a reasonably thin layer and subsequently the canvas weave texture is still very apparent through it.

The painting was executed in oil paints and was applied to the stretched face of the canvas. There was presumably much preliminary drawing, but none is now visible through the paint layers. The paint was applied exclusively by brush in a fairly vigorous manner and in a variety of thickness' and consistencies. Some areas were heavily thinned to give a matt, dry looking finish, whereas much use was also made of paint that appears to have been used straight from the tube. These areas are typically of much higher gloss and often exhibit considerable impasto. The paint was often layered over previously applied (and dried) colours, although there was also a considerable amount of blending of colours, i.e. using a wet-in-wet technique. In a few areas the brush handle was used to cut back into applied and still wet areas of colour. The colours are predominantly bright and opaque. The painting was not varnished. The simple L-section wooden frame was constructed and attached by a commercial framer and may have been the artist's choice.

The painting is in an excellent condition, with no damage visible to any area of paint. Providing the appropriate level of care is maintained the painting should remain in this near pristine state.

Tom Learner
August 2000