The son of a Reading drawing master, William Havell was the youngest of the sixteen founder members of the Society of Painters in Watercolour, and one of the most talented. Most of his early exhibits at the Society were Welsh views. However, in 1807 he set off for the Lake District to search out new subjects, settling in a cottage in Ambleside for over a year. This study is executed in the unusual combination of coloured washes with gouache (opaque white pigment, or watercolour mixed with opaque white) on a paper of mid-tone. This combination offered a richer range of tones then the more tradtional sketching medium of pencil and white paper, and a greater subtlety in the description of light and shade.