Alexander Moffat’s artistic output consists chiefly of portraits, which are often of his family and friends. As an influential teacher and writer on art, Moffat’s sitters have included many prominent Scottish figures, such as John Bellany, Alan Bold and Norman MacCaig. In this portrait of Ian Hamilton Finlay, Moffat has shown the sitter in a natural and relaxed pose, looking as if he is thinking or listening to a conversation. By the late 1960s, Moffat had abandoned his palette of earthy colours to use bright colours, influenced by Matisse. In this work, the soft, bright pastels combine with Moffat’s confident sense of linear form to make a striking portrait of Finlay.