Masson began to make sand paintings in the mid-1920s as a form of automatic composition. By pouring sand onto a surface ribboned with glue, he allowed unplanned elements into his work. When he returned to the technique for later works such as Star, Winged Being, Fish, Masson threw a mixture of glue and sand onto the canvas. The effect was much denser, creating lines and raised islands of sand. In these areas, Masson found elements created by chance that he then enhanced in paint in order to draw out the latent image.