The artist is sat on a bank which quickly ends as the river snakes past us on a diagonal path. Sorolla carefully reduces the width of the river on the left hand side in order to give a subtle feeling of perspective. There is also a strip of interest across the top part of the canvas which delivers a background, though with only a very small part of it being visible. There are some reddish tones with blue, but the detail across that part of the painting is deliberately left brief. This forces us to focus on the boat nearest, as well as the various elements of the river. The bank has several bushes and foliage which creeps over the top of the river, and there is a general sense of calm with the water looking settled and also there being no sign of life around. It may have been that the artist came across this spot whilst out on a walk and suddenly saw the potential of this angled view.
Sorolla was very familiar with all types of vessels from his time growing up in Valencia. His artistic career would feature fishing scenes fairly regularly and so he would have become used to painting sailing boats and fishing craft under different types of conditions. In this case the lighting is fairly dim, and this provides an alternative challenge as he attempts to use lighting in a way which brings out the key parts of the scene but doesn't plunge any part of the canvas into darkness. The light comes from the background, though it comes from a low angle and this produces the shadows that we find here, even though the landscape is itself fairly flat. He takes his time to place various clusters of foliage around which helps different forms to connect with each other rather than having very abrupt transitions from water to land.
This talented Valencian would promote his work around the world for several decades and eventually he established a strong financial footing which took any pressure of his family. They were able to live a comfortable life from that point onwards and Sorolla was also able to sometimes work on topics that he wanted to, even though some of them might not potentially be sellable. He would donate a collection of his work to a foundation in his name and eventually from that the Museo Sorolla was formed in Madrid. It remains there today and is particularly well represented with his family portraits, covering himself, his wife plus their children in all manner of different formal and informal postures. This was someone who used his impressive technical skills to tackle a wide range of different genres across his career.