Vaughan first discovered oil pastels in 1959 while working in America at the Iowa State University Art Department. He enthused about their rich density and the speedy manner in which they could be applied, and continued to use oil pastels for the rest of his career. 'As they were then rare in England, he explained to Prunella Clough that they were 'waterproof, impervious to everything, can be rolled, stamped on, eaten'' (see M. Yorke, Keith Vaughan his Life and Work, London, 1990, p. 189).
In the present work Vaughan combines several coloured oil pastels with a range of translucent wax crayons, building up an abstract arrangement of forms encasing a single standing form. He establishes a tonic visual key in blue and then modulates it through chromatic variations in a patch-work of cobalts, indigos and azures. Vaughan systematically investigates all the subtleties of this particular tint, structuring his colour chords and clustering together various harmonic hues.