Technique and condition

This sketch is a pen and ink study for the painting Death of Chatterton. The dead poet is lying on his side on a simple bed with his right arm hanging down to the floor.

The image is executed in iron gall ink with fine brown ink lines and broader, looser ink strokes to block out areas of shadow. The support is a pale blue, light-weight, wove, machine-made writing paper in moderate to poor condition. The unpainted areas are in moderate condition with some yellow discolouration and faint foxing marks visible, but the bottom half of the support (where the drawing is concentrated) is in poor condition with fractured lines and areas of loss due to degradation of the support by the iron gall ink.

Katharine Lockett
April 2003