Lois Orne (Mrs. William Paine), 1757
The cool gray ground layer was applied in a moderately thin, even layer. Badger allowed the ground to show through the shadows of the flesh tones; this is especially evident, due to surface abrasion. The paint is thinly applied, with the thickest buildup occurring in the highlights. Although some blending of paint occurs, many of the brushstrokes remain distinct (such as in the folds of the dress), indicating that Badger employed both a wet-in-wet technique and a wet-on-dry technique. Some of the darkest accents, such as in the shadow of the arm and the space between the fingers, were added after the general forms were painted. Overlapping brushstrokes also indicate that the background was painted after the figure and that the childs rattle was added after the dress and hand.
The paint surface is severely abraded overall, and there is extensive cracking throughout the paint layers. Past attempts at setting down flaking and tenting in the paint layers included overall infusion with a wax-resin mixture in 1956.
Examination of the paint surface with a stereomicroscope reveals mild pitting. A horizontal band of slightly cleaner paint surface, about an inch and a half wide, runs along the bottom edge. There are numerous pinpoint losses throughout the painting. Large areas of loss at the edges of the work have been reconstructed.
The evenly applied and moderately thick varnish consists of brushed and sprayed coats of isobutyl methacrylate. Applied in 1972, the varnish appears somewhat matte but shows no signs of discoloration.