Once the configuration of the structure was established many sketches were made to determine the point of view. After looking at several alternatives, I chose a position to the south and west of the fort at slightly below eye level. This placed the River in the background and out of sight except for Christiaensen's ship, Fortuyn. To create the atmosphere of mystery and loneliness that small group of Dutch sailors must have felt, I set the painting on a misty morning in November. The more distinct features of the foreground emphasize the cleared wetland. A small band of Mohawks has come to trade, while two crewman work at cutting wood. For a moment the men exchange curious and apprehensive glances. A great change in this native world had begun. It would never be the same again.