Throughout his career Kossoff has made portrait drawings. Usually these are of family, friends or, as in this case, himself. Kossoff was a student of David Bomberg (whose work is also on show here). Bomberg maintained that there could be no good painting without drawing. In common with Bomberg, drawing is a crucial activity for Kossoff and he draws constantly from the landscape and the figure. Here, the heavily worked surface has been repeatedly erased and re-drawn. This records the artist's many previous attempts to give form to a final definitive image, which is usually executed in one session. The portrait is thus spontaneous, but also founded on accumulated experience of the subject.