Like many Surrealist artists, Ernst was interested in the use of chance and automatism to try and produce new images from his unconscious mind. He often used techniques which created unusual and unplanned paint effects. Here, Ernst has created textured lines on the surface of the painting by dragging a comb through wet paint. The cloud-covered sun is reflected in the sea, which is suggested by combed waves in the lower half of the painting. Ernst painted many seascapes, and this painting is one of a number of works which feature a large circle floating above the horizon. The work was also influenced by alchemical illustrations.