Vaughan demonstrates here that he is a virtuosic exponent of gouache painting. He presents two male figures, perhaps bathers, standing uncomfortably and shivering before a somewhat hostile landscape. They are balanced on the frontal edge of the picture plane, their physical forms oscillating between abstraction and figuration. Vaughan discussed this point in his journal: 'I seem to be purposefully trying to a make a composition of mutual contradictions. Figures which aren't figures, landscape space which is something else, shapes which are neither abstract nor figurative ... what am I doing and why? ... Certainly I am following a scent, but it is buried and extremely irrational' (K. Vaughan, Journal, November 27th 1957).
In the present work, Vaughan presents uncommon visual interest and pictorial invention in a variety of pigmented textures. He sets up an interplay between the rich gouache, the mottled ink and the dense oil pastel, inviting the eye nearer to the painted surface for a lingering inspection. 1965 was a year of pictoral experimentation and innovation for Vaughan and here he makes use of what was to become one of his signature techniques. The ink has been diluted with a surprising domestic ingredient so as to conjure up a translucent, frothing consistency. This is evident in the left figure, the upper area and at the lower right of the composition. Vaughan revealed in his journal that, 'vinegar in the water makes the ink precipitate' (K. Vaughan, Journal, February 26th 1965).