Brandt often used additive techniques to enhance his photographs. In this print of a barmaid, taken for the Picture Post photo-story “A Barmaid’s Day” (1939), Brandt used black wash to add depth and uniformity to the shadowy background. He applied the passages so thickly that brushstrokes can be seen by the naked eye upon close inspection, while particles of pigment are visible as sandy texture under magnification. Brandt also used graphite to outline the eyebrows and facial features of the title subject.
Gallery label from Bill Brandt: Shadow and Light, March 6–August 12, 2013.