The image is, as so often happens, provided by artrenewal.org , an online museum.
This painting tells a story. It tells it from right to left. The main figure holds up a hand to gesture towards the wreck, we see him superimposed upon a crew struggling to get a rescue boat to the shore. All of the darks across the middle of the painting are in an arch of rhythmic shapes. On the left side Homer has driven a "door" through that. Below, I have accented in white, the lines of the carefully designed negative shape against which the procession is silhouetted.
Notice all of the inward flowing "fingers" of negative shape, that cut down into the large arabesque of the boat and toiling men. The negative shapes all point inwards , the waving mans arm is echoed by the stern of the boat, both serpentine inward thrusting shapes. The men on the right, leaning backwards in their effort to draw on their lines, create inward facing shapes that bind them.
This silhouette, or arabesque as it is sometimes called, is varied and interesting. Homer arranged that shape, he didn't copy it from nature or a photograph. He may have had both, taped to his easel. but that big"Chinese dragon" across the middle of the painting is a deliberately invented and designed device. It gives the painting enormous power and decorative arrangement.
One of you wrote in the comments how this was your art lesson with your coffee in the morning. I am glad to hear that, as that is pretty much my intention here, art lessons.
I will return tomorrow with another lesson.