One of the most characteristic features of eighteenth-century British art was the development of marine, animal and topographical painting. Marine painting reached a very high standard, largely because it was modelled on sophisticated Dutch sea painting. British marine painters aimed to give their work greater realism. Brooking, for example, travelled extensively at sea. The details of his ships and rigging are always correct.
Where most marine painters used brown underpaint, Brooking painted on a light ground which makes his pictures particularly luminous and atmospheric.