Donald Short is an artist working in the UK

The Nocturnes are a series of monotone paintings in a range of colours using a technique of rubbing or scratching away the paint surface to reveal a human form. Historically this type of image would be the first layer or ‘ebauche’ of a figure painting. The brown underpainting would also be used to create what are known as optical grays; bluish/gray tones created by scumbling semi-transparent white paint over a reddish/brown ground, creating the effect of mid-tone shadows. These works are somewhere between painting and drawing – concerned with gestural immediacy and the physical attributes of paint. The work of Degas and his pupil Sickert were clearly at the back of my mind, in particular the latter’s Camden Town nudes.