Painted in 1969, the present work is typical of Aitchison's portraits. The sitter, Alan McNaught, is portrayed looking out to one side, his face in part-profile with the background painted in a striking block of colour. Andrew Lambirth comments, 'Aitchison doesn't aim for a psychological portrait, although he is generally rather good at obtaining a likeness. As he says: 'In a portrait you're trying to get the person opposite you onto the canvas. If I could, I would trace them'. He tries to avoid commissions, partly because these tend to be of white sitters whom he has more difficulty painting. Individual features or limbs may not be painted with the greatest attention to detail or with anything like anatomical accuracy, but the whole works convincingly because of Aitchison's instinctive and uncanny understanding of shape and how colours behave next to dark skin. Hairstyles can give the key to a picture, as can the cut of a cap of a sou'wester' (Exhibition catalogue, Craigie Aitchison: Out of the Ordinary, London, Royal Academy, 2003, p. 17).