Detail: Blotting technique

Occasionally, Homer abandoned his brushes and tools and manipulated watercolors directly with his fingers. In Prout’s Neck, Breaking Wave, for example, he used a rag wrapped over his finger (any stiff cloth or piece of chamois could have served the purpose), blotting the still-damp, dark-blue wash to create broken clouds over a violent sea. Distinctive, elongated oval shapes that indicate his manipulations appear throughout the lighter area at upper left.

Detail of Prout’s Neck, Breaking Wave showing lighter, elongated oval shapes along the top where Homer blotted the watercolor with a rag wrapped over his finger to suggest a stormy atmosphere.