Detail: Tamping the brush end

Always experimenting with different textures and modes of mark making, Homer turned his brush bristles on end and repeatedly tamped down on the paper to construct the thin, wispy top of a pine in the upper-righthand section of The End of the Day, Adirondacks. The blunt marks with tapered ends that Homer left in dry, blue-green wash record the cross section of a flat brush with a one-centimeter-wide round end. Homer may have used the same brush to paint the horizontal black strokes of the boat and the man’s reflection, as suggested by the round front ends and uniform one-centimeter widths of those brushstrokes.

Detail of The End of the Day, Adirondacks, illustrating how Homer tamped the blunt end of a flat brush to construct the wispy top of a pine tree.