Interpretive Resource

Photomicrograph: Scraping to create glint in guide's eye

With a flick of the tip of his knife, Homer carved out the white glint in the old guide’s eye, bringing his face to life. After years of scraping and otherwise manipulating his watercolors and papers, Homer was capable of incredible precision and control as demonstrated in this work. He would have known how much resistance to expect from the stiffly sized linen paper fibers and just how sharp his scraper needed to be to obtain the tiny speck of white. With this minute detail, Homer drew attention to the alertness and psychological character of the guide.


Photomicrograph of Adirondacks Guide, showing the guide’s eye, where Homer used the tip of his knife to pick out a minute highlight. Original magnification 8x.

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