Detail: Wet-into-wet technique

In Breaking Storm, Coast of Maine, the artist merged colored washes to illustrate the change in weather as the sun was gradually obscured by the brewing storm. At upper left, he painted the sky dark blue; at upper right, he laid in a pink wash, running his loaded brush into the still-wet blue strokes, blending the colors seamlessly to evoke sunlight on clouds preceding rain. Homer captured the sky’s reflection on the sea in a similar way, dragging a pink wash into green to indicate the storm’s direction. In the foreground, he merged green and purple washes and then touched a full red brush into the latter, leaving diffuse red splotches. This passage depicts rocks or vegetation blurred by rain; free of detail, it borders on the abstract.

Detail of Breaking Storm, Coast of Maine showing where Homer dripped clear water into a wet, blue sky, creating lighter areas adjacent to dark, feathered bands of blue pigment.