Above is the Hibbard from Bar Harbor. There is all kinds of stuff going on in there . I will begin by talking about the brushwork in this piece. Below you see a detail of the lower right hand corner.
Here is an absolutely masterful passage. Take a moment and study this rock, there is a major principle or two that you can learn here. The whole thing is made out of a visible and unusual brushstroke. But it also has a characteristic you might not notice, because the passage works so well.
Hibbard has dropped the "key" of the lights in this painting. That is, he has transposed its values down an octave, like you might on a piano. That gives him two things, richer color, and better ability to describe the form.
The color part is I suppose obvious but here's the deal. In order to paint in a high key it is necessary to add a lot of white into your color. And
THE MORE WHITE YOU USE, THE LESS COLOR YOU HAVE!
Using lots of white bleaches out your paintings, giving them a chalky look. So go easy on the white. But the major reason Hibbard has this passage keyed down is this. He can describe the forms of these rocks in color that has some strength to it, and then place his bright highlights well above their value. If Hibbard had painted those rocks as bright as they would have been in the sun there, he would not have been able to do that.
I will again return to my example of the lead guitar player. Say he is out there playing with his amp turned all the way up on ten. When the time comes for his big solo, he reaches back to turn up another notch, but he can't. He is ALREADY playing with the amp turned all the way up.
So if you are painting a passage like this full of white, when you want to throw a bright highlight you can't, because you have left yourself no room above the passage, in your values, to use for your highlights.
This is a particularly common fault in today's plein aire movement because of our contemporary preference for "bright " paintings. We paint our interiors with colors made with lots of whites' and that has effected our taste.
Gloucester artist Emile Gruppe actually used zinc white which is more transparent in order to not "step"on his colors so much. This was not such a big problem with lead white, and before the second world war pretty much everybody used lead white. Today we all use titanium which is a great white, but it is very opaque and will make your color chalky if you don't take care to keep that from happening. There are a lot of chalky paintings out there.
Look at how those brushstrokes lay on the surface of that rock describing it's surface. There is no blending and there is plenty of variation in color also. Remember me talking about sliding a ring from your finger across a painting. If you did that to this painting there would always be several colors within it.
This is an interpretation of what he had before him. He transposed the appearance of nature into his language of brushstrokes. He didn't actually see the brush strokes. That means he didn't paint what he saw.He processed what he saw. When you hear people say every artist "sees" thing differently, they don't really understand this. Other wise the cubists would have been unable to drive.