In his excellent and detailed Elements of Painting with Crayons, Russell purported to explain the technique of his master, Francis Cotes, but his own work is far more effective with its brilliant use of reds, blues and yellows laid in on blue paper. Russell achieved a distinctive blurred effect by smudging the outlines with the finger and crayon, a technique he combined with striking finishing details in black. Russell was also an astronomer and produced oil and watercolour studies of the moon.
G. C. Williamson: John Russell R.A. (London, 1894) [based on Russell's diaries in London, V&A]
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