View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
In this drawing Turner captures the churning energy of a storm at sea. A sense of motion is created by the interplay of even fields of translucent wash and vigorous dry brush-strokes representing pockets of atmospheric disturbance. Curving brush-strokes and the pooling and merging of wash suggest the swell of the water. The fluid, swirling aspects of the composition are momentarily counteracted by a bold horizontal band of charcoal grey wash emerging at the right in the central register, probably the profile of a headland in the distance. For examples of similar handling in sky studies see Turner’s Old London Bridge sketchbook of 1823–4 (Tate D17883, D17887; Turner Bequest CCV 28, 31).