View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
As with folios 10 and 11 (D36371, D35372), Folkestone Harbour railway viaduct and track occupies the central register of this pencil and watercolour drawing. Turner’s rough pencil notations suggest the very basic components of the composition: the central transecting line of the railway track, a towered building and perhaps a windmill on the distant headland. The red pigment used for the viaduct and track has been highlighted with purple wash, these colours dispersing and bleeding into one another at the point at which the viaduct meets the gradient of the land towards the left. The vivid amorphous streak produced by this merging of watercolour contrasts opportunely with the sparsely developed area to the left of the sheet which has been roughly filled in with vigorous, dry-brush hatches of yellow and purple pigment. Towards the bottom right is an area of translucent red wash interrupted by a sequence of scalloped shapes. These were probably caused by Turner using his fingertips to suggest some sort of foreground incident, or indeed purely for the aesthetic effect.