Atlantic Packet Albion, 24 x 44 inches
Establishing dark darks and light lights in the tonal range of a painting gives it visual crispness and impact.
A figure or a focus of visual interest (in this case the dark dark on the bow of the ship) is often placed on the right side of a composition, as the eye tends to scan a painting from left to right, which means that an object on the right tends to have greater visual weight. If the ship had been positioned on the left it would give the work a slightly more abrupt and perhaps less pleasing effect. Of course, compositional rules were made to be cleverly broken. The dark dark feature is also located in a golden mean "sweet spot".