Detail: Wetting, scraping, and tinting to create wildflowers

Homer captured the impression of wildflowers scattered throughout a forest clearing in North Woods Club, Adirondacks. A close look at the work itself shows how he accomplished this. Using water, Homer painted the form of a tall, flowering stalk over a dry green wash, then blotted and scraped away the softened paint to reveal the white paper below. He repeated the process in the darkest areas until the form stood out in white. Then, he touched his brush, filled with chrome yellow watercolor, to the white form. By using this technique rather than indicating the flowers with opaque yellow watercolor over the wash, Homer preserved the unifying transparency and luminosity of the composition.

Detail of North Woods Club, showing, at far right, how Homer created wildflowers by wetting and scraping away green watercolor and then tinting the exposed white paper yellow.