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Turner often sketched in pencil directly from the subject in the open air, but
he usually undertook colour work (in watercolour, gouache or oil) back in
the studio. However, this is one of a small group of oil studies on paper that were executed outside, on a trip to Devon
in the summer of 1813. A local artist, Ambrose Johns, encouraged Turner
by craftily presenting him with a
ready-made portable painting kit.
Turner worked with speed directly
from nature, completing a number
of vibrant views of the Plymouth area.