About this artwork
Although undated, Prout’s Neck, Evening probably belongs to a group of unusually reductive watercolors Homer painted in Maine in 1894. In its near abstraction and reliance on subtle color gradations, this watercolor and others in this group suggest that Homer may have looked closely at traditional Japanese ink paintings. Tranquil in mood, the image is divided nearly in half by the horizon line, with the gray-blue sea and sky reflecting each other, separated only by bare white paper and a wet wash of bright blue along the horizon. Homer emphasized the calm sea by applying color in broad, even washes.
Laying a flat wash is a fundamental technique for depicting sky and water in a landscape painting. After crossing the length of the sheet with his brush, which is loaded with color, the painter starts back in the other direction, touching the top of the brush to the bottom of the previous stroke so the wet washes merge evenly. Controlled speed is essential: if the first stroke is allowed to dry, a hard line appears and the strokes will not blend. Once the wash dries, subsequent washes can be laid over it, which is how Homer built up tone in the sea.
Currently Off View
- Prints and Drawings
- Winslow Homer
- Prout's Neck, Evening
- United States
- Watercolor, with rewetting and blotting, over traces of graphite, on thick, rough-textured, ivory wove paper (top edge trimmed)
- Signed recto, lower right, in graphite: "W.H." Inscribed verso, center, in graphite: "Prouts Neck, Evening"; center top edge, in graphite: "4"; upper center, in blue pencil crossed out in graphite: "No 7"
- 359 × 536 mm
- Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection