Photomicrograph: Rough texture of watercolor paper

Watercolor is used to greatest effect in combination with authentic watercolor paper. The physical character of the paper was critical to a work’s final appearance; for Weary, Homer selected an off-white, medium-thick sheet with a rough, twill texture. The paper’s surface consists of minute high and low points, which the artist exploited to create patterns of light and shadow. Where sunlight hits the upper portion of the tree trunk, Homer used a dry-brush method and applied strokes of dry gray wash over pale pink. His gray brushstrokes caught the high points of the paper, leaving the lighter color in the low points. Speckles of pink seen through the dark broken lines mimic tree bark cast in relief by sunlight.

Photomicrograph of Weary, showing the rough texture of typical watercolor paper. Original magnification 8x.